Northern Trust Open Picks

By Rex HoggardFebruary 16, 2009, 5:00 pm
Padraig Harrington, the reigning Player of the Year and winner of the last two major meet and greets, misses the cut and Dustin Johnson, winner of one Tour event making his second start at Pebble Beach, takes the 54-holer. Give editorial chief Jay Coffin credit for picking the second-year Tour player, but we have petitioned the Fantasy Island commissioners office for a performance-enhancing drug test.
As we learned last week with Alex Rodriguez, nobody is that good.
Northern Trust Open

Pick a Foursome: Phil Mickelson has not looked sharp at any point in his 2009 warm-up, but Lefty plays well in LA, finishing 1-2 the last two years, and ' at least after his tie for 10th at Pebble Beach, Kenny Perry is staring to look like a man destined to win 20 Tour titles. After back-to-back victories at Riviera in 2003 and 2004, Mike Weir may be the closest thing to a betting lock.
Picks: A) Phil Mickelson, B) Kenny Perry, C) Mike Weir, D) Luke Donald
Note: One player from four categories based on the World Golf Ranking (1-10, A; 11-20, B; 21-30, C; 31-40, D). Points awarded on money earned ($1 = 1 point).

Salary Cap: Weir and Howell are easy and rookies normally dont fare well in LA. Instead, round out your squad with some Europeans who are using the Northern Trust as a tune up for next weeks WGC-Match Play Championship.
Neither Justin Rose nor Graeme McDowell has ever finished in the top 30 at Riviera, but should be players to watch with the seasons first major event on the horizon.
Picks: Mike Weir, Jim Furyk, Charles Howell III, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell
Note: Five players with a $10 million cap based on 2008 earnings. Rookies without 2008 earnings will be priced at $250,000. Standings based on overall team earnings.

Pick One: Rocco Mediate. Granted, an ailing 40something probably isnt the best bet any week on Tour, but pick one leagues are completed before the season begins and in January, and on paper, Mediate seemed like a rational addition. The veteran has seven top-20 finishes in 16 starts at The Riv and has become an LA staple.
Note: Players must be picked before the start of the season and used only once. Standings based on total earnings.

In addition to my PGA Tour Pick One, the staff will be offering up their picks to win. A player can be picked a maximum of five times. We will be keeping a running tally of the monies earned each week. The participants include: Brian Hewitt, Insider; Jay Coffin, Editorial Director; Mercer Baggs, Editorial Manager; Brian Koressel, Senior Producer; Dena Davis, Assistant Editor; Erik Peterson, Travel Editor; Jerry Foltz, special contributor.

NamePlayer PickReasonMoney
Rex HoggardCharles Howell IIICHIII has never missed the cut in LA, won the event in 2007 and finished runner-up in 2003. He looks even better when you consider just two of his 13 rounds this year have been over par and his work with new swing coach Todd Anderson is still something of a work in progress.$134,223
Brian HewittPhil MickelsonAll right, Phil. You cant scare me off. For the third straight week, I am picking you. Dont forget, you won at Riviera last year and finished second there the year before.$295,090
Jay CoffinRobert AllenbyIts his first start of the year, which is a concern, but he plays well at Riviera with three top-10s in the past four years and a victory in 2001.$1,405,290
Mercer BaggsMike WeirPicking him for the second straight week. After being denied a come-from-behind victory at Pebble, maybe he'll get it at Riviera.$1,283,963
Erik PetersonCharley HoffmanIn 2009 hes 14th in driving distance and GIR, two stats that complement each other nicely at Riviera.$1,065,806
Brian KoresselK.J. ChoiPlaying well and enjoyed his second top-10 finish last year at Riviera.$1,251,429
Dena DavisRobert AllenbyRiviera is his bff. Last year, he finished T7. And before that? T3, T7, T15 finishes and a nice 'W' in 2001. Good enough for me.$343,590
Jerry FoltzPadraig HarringtonMissing the cut at Pebble may be a blessing. Not in form, but said at the Buick that he peaks during his third or fourth week in a row.$405,146


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