The PGA Tour continues the California portion of its schedule heading to the historic Riviera Country Club just outside LA in Pacific Palisades. The tour has already had a three-time winner this season thanks to the wrap-around schedule which counts the Fall Series as part of the 2013-14 season. Jimmy Walker is emerging as a force to be reckoned with, and he just now is getting to Riviera where he has been a fantasy factor for the last few years. His history here and current form make him a must-have, but who else will be on your roster this week? You can find my picks below, and hopefully they’ve been helpful lately since I’ve been on a pretty good run lately.
Last week, I had the runaway winner in Walker and both Dustin Johnson and Hunter Mahan who were both in the hunt for second. 16 memebers of our Fansided group on Yahoo! had Walker last week and overall the group continues to be extremely competitive (details to join here). This week the winner was “Harbour Dogs” with 228 points which moved him up to eighth place overall with “Team Tiger” moving into the top spot for the season with less than 100 points separation 1st from 21st.
This week shapes up to be another great tournament, so make sure to get your picks locked in for this year’s trip to Hogan’s Alley. Here’s who is on my roster:
Matt Kuchar: Kuchar is as consistent as anyone on tour piling up top ten’s seemingly every time he’s in a tournament. He actually doesn’t have a career top ten at Riviera despite making the cut each of the six times he’s played here. He’s looking for his seventh top-ten in a row, and he’s one of the best options in a shallow A-List pool this week.
Bubba Watson: Bubba led for most of the Waste Management Phoenix Open before finishing as co-runner up after a tough stretch on Sunday. Last year he missed the cut for the second time since 2008 but he also has three top 20′s at Riviera in that same span. Watson can overpower the course when he’s on, so I think he’s worth the risk in my second A-List spot for this week.
Dustin Johnson: Johnson charged to a runner-up finish last week giving him five straight finishes in the top 15. He also has a good history at this course putting up a t3 and a t4 in the last four tournaments at Riviera.
Justin Rose: Justin Rose hasn’t played stateside yet this year, but he has a pair of top-15 finishes in his last two tournaments at this location. He is also in good form with top 10s in his last five starts worldwide although he has been resting with a case of tendinitis in his shoulder.
Hunter Mahan: Mahan has been knocking on the door the last few weeks with a pair of top-6 finishes in Phoenix and Pebble Beach. He also finished in the top ten in the 2013 version of the Northern Trust Open, so he’ll be comfortable with the venue.
Graham DeLaet: The Canadian didn’t play last week but is coming off back-to-back runner-up finishes in his last two tournaments and four straight top tens. Last year, he finished a career-best t21 at this event after making the cut for the first time in 2011.
Jimmy Walker: Walker has been on fire and now plays a course thats tailor-made for his game. He’s finished in the top five twice and made the cut in all six tournaments he’s played at Riviera. He’ll be a very popular choice given his early-season performance, but this isn’t the event to try and get creative and leave him off. Don’t run the risk of not having Walker, especially since he’s on the C-list where its sometimes hard to dig up a great option.
Charl Schwartzel: Like Rose, Schwartzel hasn’t played any events in the States this season, so you should be fully stocked on his starts. Last season, he finished t3 at this event and has been in the top 15 in four of his last five European Tour events including securing his third straight win at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. With Walker as such a strong pick, you can gamble a bit with this pick, but Schwartzel has the history on this course and the current form to be a strong competitor this week.