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Walker looks for 4th victory

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Tournament: Northern Trust Open
Date: Feb. 13-16, 2014
Venue: Riviera Country Club
Location: Pacific Palisades, California
2013 Winner: John Merrick

The PGA Tour heads to the Pacific Palisades this week to play in the Northern Trust Open, one of the longest running tournaments which first started in 1926. While the Riviera CC is a long 7,349 yards for a par-71 course, players have always been able to score well with the average winning score here being better than 12-under par over the past six years. This has also been a tight tournament with the past two years needing a playoff to decide the winner. John Merrick earned his first PGA Tour win at this course last season when he defeated Charlie Beljan on the second hole of the playoff. The most recent multiple winner here has been Phil Mickelson (2008 and 2009).

Let’s take a look at some players who could top the leaderboard in this year’s edition.

Golfers to Watch

Jimmy Walker (20/1): Walker has been the breakout golfer of the 2014 season thus far and is coming off his third win of the season, which also happens to be the first three wins of his career. His putting has been his greatest asset, as he is 10th on tour in putting (1.719 per hole) and is averaging 4.90 birdies per round (4th on tour).

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Graham Delaet (20/1):
The Canadian has been hovering around the top of the leaderboards in search of his first career PGA Tour victory and has placed in the top-seven in each of his past four events, including two runner-up performances. He has been tremendous in many categories this season; ranking eighth in birdies per round (4.67), fourth in driving distance (306.7), sixth in greens hit in regulation (76.9%) and 7th in total driving. He is poised to take his first win this week.

Harris English (30/1): English has played in this tournament just once so far, placing 51st there last season. Since that time, he has won his first two PGA events and had three other top-11 finishes in his four January events. The 24-year old is one of the longest hitters on tour (299.8 yards per, 25th on tour) and has hit 74.8% of greens in regulation (10th on tour) this season, leading to 4.94 birdies per round (3rd on tour).

Pat Perez (50/1): Perez seems to be coming into his own and is playing some of his best golf since he debuted on the PGA Tour back in 2002. He still has one win under his belt, a victory in the 2009 Bob Hope Classic, but has been close to grabbing his second this season with four top-11 finishes in his past five events where his combined score to par is an impressive 47-under. This includes a runner-up at the Farmers Insurance Open in late last month. Perez has placed in the top-15 only twice at this event since 2007, but is worthy of a small wager with how well he's played recently.

J.B. Holmes (80/1): Holmes has had a rocky last few years with injuries, playing only one PGA tournament last season while making three starts this year. His results have not been amazing, but they have been encouraging after missing so much time, and include a 23rd place finish in the Farmers Insurance Open. He still uses the John Daly approach of hitting it farther than his opponent, and has averaged 308.2 yards per drive.

Betting Odds - Provided by Sportsbook.ag

Field (Any Other Golfers) 3/1
Dustin Johnson 12/1
Webb Simpson 15/1
Matt Kuchar 20/1
Jimmy Walker 20/1
Graham DeLaet 20/1
Jordan Spieth 20/1
Hunter Mahan 20/1
Bill Haas 22/1
Keegan Bradley 25/1
Justin Rose 25/1
Bubba Watson 25/1
Ryan Moore 30/1
Harris English 30/1
Hideki Matsuyama 30/1
Jason Dufner 35/1
Charl Schwartzel 35/1
Jim Furyk 40/1
Louis Oosthuizen 45/1
Pat Perez 50/1
Marc Leishman 50/1
Charles Howell III 50/1
Rickie Fowler 60/1
Kevin Na 60/1
Joost Luiten 60/1
Kevin Stadler 60/1
Ian Poulter 60/1
KJ Choi 60/1
Lee Westwood 60/1
Thorbjorn Olesen 60/1
Ernie Els 80/1
Francesco Molinari 80/1
John Merrick 80/1
Jason Kokrak 80/1
JB Holmes 80/1
Brendon de Jonge 80/1
Matt Jones 80/1
Brian Stuard 80/1
Charley Hoffman 80/1
Victor Dubuisson 80/1
Padraig Harrington 100/1
Martin Laird 100/1
Ryo Ishikawa 100/1
Kevin Streelman 100/1
Nicolas Colsaerts 100/1
Luke Guthrie 100/1
Scott Piercy 100/1
Fred Couples 100/1
Freddie Jacobson 100/1
Robert Garrigus 100/1

  
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