This week marks the 13th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as players remain in California for the Northern Trust Open. A field of 144 players will tackle Riviera Country Club, home of one of the most iconic clubhouses in the game and one of the most frustrating - and entertaining - par-4 holes around.
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John Merrick returns to defend the title he won last year in a playoff over Charlie Beljan. Here are 10 players to watch this week in Los Angeles:
1. Dustin Johnson: DJ has been feast or famine in this event, with the last five years producing three top-10 finishes along with a pair of missed cuts. Coming off a tie for second at Pebble Beach, though, Johnson doesn't look like a man who lost a step following a month off. He cracked the top five here in both 2010 (T-3) and 2012 (T-4) and is no stranger to playing good golf in the state of California.
2. Jimmy Walker: Good luck trying to bet against Walker right now. After 187 starts without a win, the 35-year-old has three in his last eight starts, including last week's triumph at Pebble. It's hard to find a golfer with more confidence right now than Walker, and he heads to an event where he tied for fourth in both 2011 and 2012.
3. Webb Simpson: Simpson is making just his third start at Riviera, but each of the first two led to top-15 finishes, including a tie for sixth last year. Sparked by his win in Las Vegas to start his 2013-14 campaign, Simpson has been remarkably consistent this season, with four top-10 finishes in five starts including a 10th-place showing last time out in Phoenix. He currently leads the Tour in birdie average.
4. Jordan Spieth: Despite a rocky third round along the coastline last week, Spieth continues to put himself in position to contend and bounced back well with a Sunday 67. Spieth will likely feel comfortable this week at Riviera - two years ago at this same venue, he and his Texas Longhorn teammates captured the 2012 NCAA championship.
5. Hunter Mahan: Mahan tied for eighth at Riviera last year and now has strung together a pair of top-10 finishes in the last two weeks, following his T-4 result in Phoenix with a sixth-place showing at Pebble. Eager to end a winless drought that is approaching two years, Mahan has 18 top-25 finishes in his last 28 official starts dating back to the beginning of last year.
6. Graham DeLaet: Whatever argument existed over who remains the best player without a PGA Tour win was likely silenced last month by DeLaet's back-to-back runner-up finishes at Torrey Pines and TPC Scottsdale. The Canadian led the Tour in ball-striking last season and has picked up right where he left off, meaning it's likely only a matter of time before he's in the winner's circle. Tied for 21st at Riviera a year ago.
7. Keegan Bradley: Bradley lost in a playoff here in 2012, then followed that effort with a T-16 last year. He'll likely be eager to bounce back from a surprising second-round 80 in Phoenix, which led to his first missed cut since the U.S. Open. Prior to that start, the former PGA champion hadn't finished outside the top 20 since August.
8. Justin Rose: The reigning U.S. Open champ is making a rather tardy 2014 debut, having sat out the past few weeks to rest his ailing right shoulder. Rose's last two trips to L.A. resulted in finishes of T-9 (2011) and T-13 (2012), so it appears the Englishman knows his way around Riviera. Rose is no stranger to a truncated playing schedule and should show few if any signs of rust this week.
9. Bill Haas: A winner here in 2012, Haas nearly went back-to-back before missing the playoff last year by a single shot. The former FedEx Cup champ is off to a slow start in 2014, with a T-6 finish at Humana his lone result of note in the new year, but that could all change once Haas returns to a course where he has experienced considerable success since 2011.
10. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar's record at Riviera is solid, albeit unspectacular: five top-40 finishes in his last six starts, though no result better than a T-14 in 2008. The former Players champ made the most of the Aloha swing, with a T-6 at Kapalua followed by a T-8 at Waialae. Now well-rested after more than a month off, Kuchar will look to start his 2013-14 season with a fourth straight top-10 finish this week.