2016 Northern Trust Open Betting Preview And Tips



Riviera C.C., Pacific Palisades, California
Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,349
Purse: $6.8 million with $1,224,000 to the winner
Defending Champion: James Hahn


Need To Know Stuff About Riviera


Let’s get straight to it; Riviera Country Club is extremely tough. In 2015 it ranked the hardest par 71 on the roster.  The greens are tiny and no putt is in the hole until it’s in the hole.  So it’s a ball strikers week without a doubt.  The weather is forecast better than the shitty conditions of last year, so scoring may be a little better than the 6 under winning score.


Favourite Watch

Hideki. You can get up now.

As is almost customary now Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy cancel each other out in the favourite market at 6/1 and only a madman would back them pre-tournament.
Dustin Johnson at 14/1 lost a playoff in 2015 and was solo second in 2014 but a poor performance at Pebble leaves questions about his form.
The value bet in the favourites market is Hideki Matsuyama at 16/1.  He’s rested after a win in Phoenix and the kind of formulaic ball striker that can be successful here.  It’s Hideki third visit to Riviera and showed that he has come a long way to solving the equation with a T4 in 2015.  If he can play the par-3 better this year, he’s a threat.

Doc’s Top Five Players To Watch


Sergio Garcia 25/1

Sergio. Not slow anymore.

Threw away the tournament last year with two vicious pulls off the tee but we are reliably informed that that cannot possibly happen with the M1!  Seriously though the Spaniard is one of the best ball strikers in the world and while we all know he’s vulnerable over short putts, in 2015 he led the field from three feet and in at Riviera with a 100% conversion rate.  That T4, along with a T4 in 2012 and solo 6th in 2011 are an impressive record on this historic track.  Lightly raced but Sergio was T7 in Qatar last time out where he was T2 in greens hit so worth an each way look.

Charl Schwartzel 30/1

Charl. One hairy man.

Either the bookies are absolute geniuses and know something we don’t or they have missed a trick big time leaving Charl Schwartzel dangling to punters at 30/1.  The GIR king has gone win, T9, win in his last three starts and was solo fifth at Riviera in 2014 and T3 in 2013.  Surely a top five finish is not beyond Charl this week even with all the travelling?


Jimmy Walker 28/1

Jimmy Walker inspired Quagmire on Family Guy.

I’m afraid to let Jimmy Walker out of my top-5 just yet because I feel he’s bubbling for a win.  Disappointingly just outside the Top 10 at Pebble but putted very well and played the par-5’s better than anyone in the field.  No worse than 13th in four starts this year and with a pair T4 finishes at Riviera in 2010 and 2011 to look back fondly upon, Jimmy gets the nod one more week from me.

J.B. Holmes 30/1

J.B. Due one.

J.B. is another man whose case I’ve been touting over recent weeks and I’m loathe to drop him for this final week in California.  On a run of decent finishes from a T6 at The Farmers, T6 in Phoenix and T11 at Pebble and on one of the best putting runs of his career.  Yes, I said putting!  But can J.B contend on this tricky par 71? Four top 10’s between 2008 and 2012 here say absolutely!


Freddie Jacobson 60/1

Freddie. Handy at Ping Pong.

I’ve been waiting for this week to tip Freddie for a famous win.  He will be in his element in Riviera, all cerebral, plotting his way around this track, every shot the result of a complex mathematical equation written on the lines of his face.  The tougher it gets, the more Freddie thrives!  Three top fives in his last four starts; T4 at Pebble and T4 at The Farmers.  Didn’t play here in 2015 and a best of T3 in 2013.

Long Odds Glory Shots

Can Retief be this weeks Vaughn Taylor?

Matt Jones at 90/1 is worth following this week. Steadily improving form and just outside the top 10 last week at the AT&T.  Was in the hunt last year (T14) and good on the greens.

Will McGirt is quoted at 100/1 with the bookies after missing cuts at Pebble and the Career Builders.  He’s a horse for the course though with a T14 and T6 in his past two visits to Riviera.  You don’t become a bad player overnight.

Retief Goosen has to be Vaugh Taylor of the week at 200/1.  He led for three rounds in 2015 before coming a cropper on Sunday with a 75.  Showed a the SA Open that he still has plenty of game with a T4 finish.  Loves tough tracks.

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