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BlogWho will win at Riviera on Sunday

Northern Trust Open

February 18 – 21, 2015

Riviera C.C.

Pacific Palisades, Ca.

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,349

Purse: $6.7 million

with $1,206,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Bubba Watson

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

Who will win on Sunday?

It’s been an interesting couple of days at Riviera, kind of a stroll down memory lane with guys like Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk and Sergio Garcia gracing the top of the leaderboard.  For Singh, who shot 74 on Sunday he will have to wait for another time but for Furyk and Garcia they are close with Retief Goosen leading.  In a way Goosen is lucky to be playing golf.  Just 912 days ago he was on an operating table in London have a titanium disc inserted in his back.  The reason for such a radical surgery was because at 44 Goosen couldn’t swing a club anymore, his back was that bad.  It took him four months before he could even swing a club again and he has worked hard on his game since.  Six months later at the 2013 Volvo Golf Champions he played again, finishing T20th.  A month later he was in contention at Pebble, finishing T9th.  Still it’s been a long road back, after his good finish at Pebble his best finish for the rest of 2013 was T21st.  He did have a couple of top-tens in 2014 but he never contented until last October at the Frys.Com Open finishing T3rd.  Who knows maybe it’s playing at Riviera, Goosen has won on great courses like Southern Hills, East Lake and Shinnecock Hills, it would be right up his alley to win at Riviera considering that 32 of the 52 winners have won a major championship.

Now Goosen didn’t look like a winner on Saturday afternoon with a wild back nine in which he made just two pars, four bogeys and three birdies.  All week the first six holes of the back has given him problems as he is four over in that stretch compared to 12 under on holes 1 through 9 and 16 through 18.

So does that mean Goosen can’t win on Sunday?  I don’t think he will win, yes he has had a great career and won a lot of times in tough circumstances.  But it’s been just about six years since his last victory at the 2009 Transitions Championship and I just wonder if he has what it takes to win.  We can see what happened to Jim Furyk last week at Pebble, I think the same will happen to Goosen on Sunday.

So if not Goosen, who else?  Two shots back is Graham DeLaet and you have to think he is ready to win.  Yes he has been sick the last couple of weeks with the flu and had a neck injury at the end of last year, but still he has been knocking on heavens door of winning and you have to think it’s soon.  Graham is a good putter and tomorrow could be his day.

How about Sang-Moon Bae?  He had a great Saturday shooting a bogey-free 66.  Again I always am worried about players that play lights out on Saturday, most of the time they have nothing left in the tank on Sunday and that could be the case with Bae.

So who else?  How about Sergio Garcia or Dustin Johnson.  Garcia is just three back and has been very consistent all week.  The thing with him is always putting, which is important at Riviera.  I think if he can make some seven, eight footer early he could do some damage tomorrow.  I also like Dustin Johnson, he is four back of Goosen but if the leader stumbles Johnson is close to the lead.  Johnson did shot 67 on Saturday to get back in it so maybe he won’t have anything in the tank on Sunday, still I like his chances.

Anybody else?  J.B. Holmes is just three back of Goosen and you have to think he will make a run on Sunday.  By problem with him, he isn’t that great of a putter from seven to 12 feet, that is something you have to do well at Riviera.  We also can’t count out Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, Jordan Spieth, Angel Cabrera, Ryan Moore and defending champion Bubba Watson.  They are all at four under which is four back of Goosen but again that could be lower if Goosen stumbles.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Of the top-25 on the leaderboard, who is playing the best:

Player AT&T Pebble Farmers Malaysian Open Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Humana Qatar Masters Sony Open Abu Dhabi Hyundai T of C South African
Harris English
(180 pts)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP T40
(6.67)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP T3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP
J.B. Holmes
(144.67 pts)
T10
(40)
T2
(100)
DNP T66
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 33
(11.33)
DNP
Pat Perez
(131.33 pts)
T4
(80)
74
(0)
DNP T26
(16)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP T17
(22)
DNP DNP DNP
Hideki Matsuyama
(116.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP T78
(0)
DNP T3
(60)
DNP
Bubba Watson
(93.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 10
(26.67)
DNP
Justin Thomas
(88.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T17
(22)
DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP T6
(40)
DNP DNP DNP
Jordan Spieth
(81.67 pts)
T7
(55)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brendon Todd
(70.67 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T44
(4)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP
Dustin Johnson
(70 pts)
T4
(80)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
James Hahn
(66 pts)
T29
(21)
T41
(9)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP T20
(20)
DNP T26
(16)
DNP DNP DNP
Michael Putnam
(55.67 pts)
T21
(29)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP T15
(23.33)
DNP T60
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Jim Furyk
(55 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Sang-Moon Bae
(51.33 pts)
DNP T32
(18)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP 6
(40)
DNP
Graham Delaet
(43.33 pts)
T57
(0)
DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Vaughn Taylor
(40 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Ryan Moore
(38.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(20)
DNP
Keegan Bradley
(32.33 pts)
DNP T41
(9)
DNP T17
(22)
DNP T48
(1.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Angel Cabrera
(30.67 pts)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP T15
(23.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T29
(14)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Of the top-25 on the leaderboard, who isn’t playing well

Player AT&T Pebble Farmers Malaysian Open Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Humana Qatar Masters Sony Open Abu Dhabi Hyundai T of C South African
Ken Duke
(-13.33 pts)
T54
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Morgan Hoffmann
(-10 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Sergio Garcia
(-4 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T46
(2.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Paul Casey
(-3.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T30
(13.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Retief Goosen
(0 pts)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP 74
(0)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Vijay Singh
(9.33 pts)
T34
(16)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Carlos Ortiz
(25.67 pts)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

In Conclusion:

I see a real battle on Sunday.  Just don’t think Goosen is ready to go out and hold the lead so if he stumbles that let’s in a lot of guys.  Let’s not count Goosen’s score and say that Graham DeLaet is in the lead at 6 under.  That would mean that four would be just one shot back, eight would be two shots back and three would be three shots back.  You can see it’s a wide open leaderboard.  In looking at where winners come from you can see that yes some great final rounds have been shot to win.  Last year Bubba Watson shot 64 to win, in 2007 Charles Howell III shot 65 to win.  I don’t see any 64s on Sunday, I can’t see anyone shooting 65.  But I can see a 66 shot by someone that starts the day three or four shots back.  As for Goosen, again he controls things and if he could get around in 69 and is steady I can’t see anyone catching him.  But a 69 may be a tough score for him, I can see him shooting 73 or 74.

 

Who to watch for at the Northern Trust Open

Best Bets:

Graham DeLaet

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
2 (SB)            T70        T21         T44

We have been talking about him for a while, we know he is going to finally win on the PGA Tour and it could be on Sunday. He has the game and Riviera could be the course for him.

Dustin Johnson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T7 (4 SB) 2 CUT T4 CUT T3 T10 T59

Think he is ready, has the fire-power to shot 66 which it will take to win

Sergio Garcia

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T3 (3 SB) T13 T4 T46 6 T20 CUT

He has always frustated us, he should be one of the greats and just doesn’t seem to get the job done. But there has been times that Garcia has come through and tomorrow could be the day, he looks calm and ready. So don’t be surprise

Best of the rest:

Sang-Moon Bae

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T3 (3 SB) T12 T8

Can be there at the end, he works hard and finds a way to be close at the end. Watch him, he could sneak into the winners circle.

Jordan Spieth

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T7 (4 SB) T12 CUT

Watch out for him, he could really come on strong and steal it.

Bubba Watson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T7 (4 SB) Win CUT T13 WD CUT T17 T14 CUT

Shot 64 in the last round last year, maybe he has another one left in him.

Angel Cabrera

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T7 (4 SB) T52 T33 CUT CUT T61 T13 T31 CUT T45 T22 CUT T17

Every time he is close he seems to win, could this be another of those?

Don’t like there chances

Retief Goosen

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
1 (Leads by 2) T65 74 T34 T12 69 CUT T51

He has really done some great things in the first three rounds, just don’t think he will be able to continue all of this. Look for him to stumble early.

J.B. Holmes

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T3 (3 SB) T52 CUT T8 T12 T3 T6 T7 T51

Has the game but not the putter. Will take an incredible day for him to do it.

Jim Furyk

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T7 (4 SB) T23 T13 T11 T35 T20 T41 CUT T3 T12 T58 T32

He has a terrible disease, not able to close the deal on Sunday. Look for that to continue on Sunday.

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