Fox News - Fair & Balanced


PGA - Northern Trust Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, February 13th through Sunday, February 16th
SITE: Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California
COURSE ARCHITECT: George C. Thomas Jr. and William P. Bell (1926),
         Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw (1994), Tom Fazio (2001, 08)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 7,349
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 503 Yds10 - Par 4 315 Yds
2 - Par 4 471 Yds11 - Par 5 583 Yds
3 - Par 4 434 Yds12 - Par 4 479 Yds
4 - Par 3 236 Yds13 - Par 4 459 Yds
5 - Par 4 434 Yds14 - Par 3 192 Yds
6 - Par 3 199 Yds15 - Par 4 487 Yds
7 - Par 4 408 Yds16 - Par 3 166 Yds
8 - Par 4 460 Yds17 - Par 5 590 Yds
9 - Par 4 458 Yds18 - Par 4 475 Yds
35 3,603 Yds36 3,746 Yds
Annual:  88th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 5-8 p.m. (et),
  - Thursday/Friday -- 8:30-11:30 p.m. (et) - replay,
  - Saturday -- 1-2:30 p.m. (et),
  CBS - Saturday -- 3-6 p.m. (et),
  Golf Channel - Saturday -- 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. (et) - replay,
  - Sunday -- 1-2:30 p.m. (et),
  CBS - Sunday -- 3-6:30 p.m. (et),
  Golf Channel - Sunday -- 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (et) - replay
Defending Champion:  John Merrick
Runner-Up:  Charlie Beljan
Tournament Record:  264 (Lanny Wadkins, 1985)
54-Hole Record:  196 (Mike Weir, 2004)
36-Hole Record:  130 (Davis Love III, 1992; Mike Weir, Shigeki Maruyama, 2004)
Course Record:  61 (Ted Tryba, 1999)
18-Hole Record:  61 (George Archer, 1983 - Rancho Municipal GC)
Total Purse:  $6,700,000
Shares:  1st Place - $1,206,000; 2nd Place - $723,600; 3rd Place - $455,600
2013 Finish
John Merrick *273Webb Simpson275
Charlie Beljan273Josh Teater275
Bill Haas274Sang-Moon Bae276
Freddie Jacobson274Hunter Mahan276
Charl Schwartzel274Three players at278

* - Won in Playoff

Past Northern Trust Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2013*John Merrick (273) -- Charlie Beljan
2012*Bill Haas (277) -- Keegan Bradley, Phil Mickelson
2011Aaron Baddeley (272) -- Vijay Singh
2010Steve Stricker (268) -- Luke Donald
2009Phil Mickelson (269) -- Steve Stricker
2008Phil Mickelson (272) -- Jeff Quinney
2007*Charles Howell III (268) -- Phil Mickelson
2006Rory Sabbatini (271) -- Adam Scott
2005#*Adam Scott (133) -- Chad Campbell
2004Mike Weir (267) -- Shigeki Maruyama
2003*Mike Weir (275) -- Charles Howell III
2002Len Mattiace (269) -- Brad Faxon, Scott McCarron, Rory Sabbatini
2001*Robert Allenby (276) -- Brandel Chamblee, Toshimitsu Izawa, Bob Tway,
Dennis Paulson, Jeff Sluman
2000Kirk Triplett (272) -- Jesper Parnevik
1999Ernie Els (270) -- Ted Tryba, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III
1998*Billy Mayfair (272) -- Tiger Woods
1997Nick Faldo (272) -- Craig Stadler
1996Craig Stadler (278) -- Mark Brooks, Fred Couples, Scott Simpson,
Mark Wiebe
1995Corey Pavin (268) -- Jay Don Blake, Kenny Perry
1994Corey Pavin (271) -- Fred Couples
1993#Tom Kite (206) -- Dave Barr, Fred Couples, Donnie Hammond,
Payne Stewart
1992*Fred Couples (269) -- Davis Love III
1991Ted Schulz (272) -- Jeff Sluman
1990Fred Couples (266) -- Gil Morgan
1989Mark Calcavecchia (272) -- Sandy Lyle
1988Chip Beck (267) -- Mac O'Grady, Bill Sander
1987*Tze-Chung Chen (275) -- Ben Crenshaw
1986Doug Tewell (270) -- Clarence Rose
1985Lanny Wadkins (264) -- Hal Sutton
1984David Edwards (279) -- Jack Renner
1983Gil Morgan (270) -- Gibby Gilbert, Mark McCumber, Lanny Wadkins
1982*Tom Watson (271) -- Johnny Miller
1981Johnny Miller (270) -- Tom Weiskopf
1980Tom Watson (276) -- Bob Gilder, Don January
1979Lanny Wadkins (276) -- Lon Hinkle
1978Gil Morgan (278) -- Jack Nicklaus
1977Tom Purtzer (273) -- Lanny Wadkins
1976Hale Irwin (272) -- Tom Watson
1975Pat Fitzsimons (275) -- Tom Kite
1974Dave Stockton (276) -- John Mahaffey, Sam Snead
1973Rod Funseth (276) -- Don Bies, David Graham, Dave Hill, Tom Weiskopf
1972*George Archer (270) -- Tommy Aaron, Dave Hill
1971*Bob Lunn (274) -- Billy Casper
1970*Billy Casper (276) -- Hale Irwin
1969*Charles Sifford (276) -- Harold Henning
1968Billy Casper (274) -- Arnold Palmer
1967Arnold Palmer (269) -- Gay Brewer
1966Arnold Palmer (273) -- Miller Barber, Paul Harney
1965Paul Harney (276) -- Dan Sikes
1964Paul Harney (280) -- Bobby Nichols
1963Arnold Palmer (274) -- Al Balding, Gary Player
1962Phil Rodgers (268) -- Bob Goalby, Fred Hawkins
1961Bob Goalby (275) -- Eric Brown, Art Wall
1960Dow Finsterwald (280) -- Bill Collins, Jay Hebert, Dave Ragan
1959Ken Venturi (278) -- Art Wall
1958Frank Stranahan (275) -- E.J. Harrison
1957Doug Ford (280) -- Jay Hebert
1956Lloyd Mangrum (272) -- Jerry Barber
1955Gene Littler (276) -- Ted Kroll
1954Fred Wampler (281) -- Jerry Barber, Chick Harbert
1953Lloyd Mangrum (280) -- Jack Burke Jr
1952*Tommy Bolt (289) -- Jack Burke Jr
1951Lloyd Mangrum (280) -- Henry Ransom
1950*Sam Snead (280) -- Ben Hogan
1949Lloyd Mangrum (284) -- E.J. Harrison
1948Ben Hogan (275) -- Lloyd Mangrum
1947Ben Hogan (280) -- Tony Penna
1946Byron Nelson (284) -- Ben Hogan
1945Sam Snead (283) -- Harold McSpaden, Byron Nelson
1944Harold McSpaden (278) -- Johnny Bulla
1943Not held due to World War II
1942*Ben Hogan (282) -- Jimmy Thomson
1941Johnny Bulla (281) -- Craig Wood
1940Lawson Little (282) -- Clayton Heafner
1939Jimmy Demaret (274) -- Harold McSpaden
1938Jimmy Thomson (273) -- Johnny Revolta
1937Harry Cooper (274) -- Ralph Guldahl, Horton Smith
1936Jimmy Hines (280) -- Henry Picard, Jimmy Thomson
1935*Vic Ghezzi (285) -- Johnny Revolta
1934Mac Smith (280) -- Willie Hunter, Bill Mehlhorn
1933Craig Wood (281) -- Leo Diegel, Willie Hunter
1932Mac Smith (281) -- Leo Diegel, Olin Dutra, Joe Kirkwood Sr, Dick Metz
1931Ed Dudley (285) -- Al Espinosa, Eddie Loos
1930Densmore Shute (296) -- Bobby Cruickshank, Horton Smith
1929Mac Smith (285) -- Tommy Armour
1928Mac Smith (284) -- Harry Cooper
1927Bobby Cruickshank (282) -- Ed Dudley, Charles Guest
1926Harry Cooper (279) -- George Von Elm

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

Note:Formerly called Nissan Open (1995-2007), Nissan Los Angeles Open
(1989-94), Los Angeles Open presented by Nissan (1987-88), Los Angeles Open (1926-70, 84-86), Glen Campbell Los Angeles Open (1971-83).

Top Contenders in the Field
John Merrick---------mcmcT-64T-54---mcWon
Charlie Beljan---------------------------2nd
Bill Haas------T-51T-22T-36mcmcT-12WonT-3
Charl Schwartzel---------------------------T-3
Webb Simpson------------------T-15------T-6
Hunter Mahan---mc---mcT-31T-17mcT-55T-24T-8
Jim Furyk---T-58T-12T-3mcT-41T-20T-35T-11T-13
Ernie Els------T-23T-3---T-51T-10---T-59T-13
Keegan Bradley---------------------mcT-2T-16
Lee WestwoodT-44T-47T-5---mc------------T-21
K.J. ChoiT-65T-29T-30T-22T-7T-3T-27T-7T-24T-33
Matt Kuchar---------T-56T-14T-57T-20T-35T-24T-38
Kevin Stadler---mc---T-29------T-10T-12T-24T-42
Fred CouplesT-59T-374th---T-31T-3T-37T-7mcT-46
Vijay SinghT-24------T-29T-36mcmc2nd33rdT-51
Dustin Johnson------------T-59T-10T-3mcT-4mc
Aaron BaddeleyT-32T-7T-51T-13T-46T-51T-54WonT-11mc
Bubba Watson---------mcT-14T-17mcwdT-13mc
Charles Howell III73rdT-47T-51WonT-55T-59mcT-66mcmc
Mike WeirWonT-37T-39T-22mcT-72mcmc---mc
Justin RoseT-59T-58T-39T-62mc---T-37T-9T-13---
Jason Dufner---------mc------mcT-29T-52---
Jordan Spieth------------------------mc---
Ian Poulter---mc---mc------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Dustin Johnson
Darkhorse - Kevin Na
Last Week's Pick to Win (Jason Day) - Missed the cut
Last Week's Darkhorse (Brendan Steele) - Missed the cut
NOTES:The PGA Tour travels to Pacific Palisades, California, and famed
Riviera Country Club this week, as the tour's best battle it out at "Hogan's Alley." Ben Hogan dominated this event in the 1940s, winning three times and finishing second once.

An outstanding field will be competing, with eight of the top 20 players in the world expected to participate -- U.S. Open champion Justin Rose (5), Matt Kuchar (9), Dustin Johnson (11), PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Jordan Spieth (13), Ian Poulter (14), PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner (16), Charl Schwartzel (18) and Webb Simpson (19).

Rose is making his 2014 debut this week. The reigning U.S. Open champion has recorded five straight top-10 finishes worldwide, dating back to the Tour Championship.

Kuchar has finished in the top 10 in all three tournaments he has played in the 2013-14 season. He has made 31 straight cuts, starting with the 2012 PGA Championship.

Johnson has finished in the top 10 in his last three events, including a victory at the HSBC Champions in November. He tied for second last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

With 11 career starts -- two as an amateur -- Tiger Woods has played this tournament more times without a victory than any other PGA Tour event. He has not played here since 2006, when he withdrew after two rounds because of the flu. In 1992, a then-16-year-old Woods shot 72-75 to miss the cut in his first PGA Tour start after receiving a sponsor's exemption.

Eight former champions are in the field this week -- Fred Couples (1990, 92), Ernie Els (1999), Robert Allenby (2001), Mike Weir (2003-04), Charles Howell III (2007), Aaron Baddeley (2011), Bill Haas (2012) and John Merrick (2013).

This week will be the 88th staging of this tournament. Outside of the major championships, this is the fourth-oldest tournament on the PGA Tour. Only the BMW Championship, Canadian Open and Texas Open are older.

Riviera has hosted 51 times, including all but two years since 1973. This tournament gave Nicklaus an exemption in 1962 when he picked up his first professional check. Surprisingly, this is one of the few events that Nicklaus never won. There have been 18 playoffs, including seven since 1998.

Legendary athlete Babe Didrickson Zaharias became the first woman ever to play in a professional men's golf tournament in the 1938 Los Angeles Open. She shot rounds of 84 and 81 and failed to make the cut at Griffith Park. That was also the year Jimmy Thomson won the tournament using a second-hand putter he had purchased for $1 in a Pasadena pro shop three weeks earlier.

Last year, John Merrick parred the second extra hole to dispatch Charlie Beljan after the pair overtook defending champion and overnight leader Bill Haas during the final round. Merrick tapped in for par on the 10th and when Beljan's par effort from around 10 feet narrowly missed, the nearby Long Beach, California, product had his first PGA Tour victory in his own backyard.

Haas holed an unlikely 43-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole in 2012 to defeat Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley. After a 28-foot birdie putt from Mickelson and a 13-footer from Bradley on the 18th hole at Riviera forced the playoff, Haas made his long birdie try for his fourth PGA Tour title.

In 2011, Baddeley fired rounds of 67-69-67-69 to earn a 2-stroke victory over Vijay Singh. Baddeley, who collected his third PGA Tour win, finished at 12- under-par 272. He was the only player in the field to shoot four rounds in the 60s.

After entering the final round with a 6-stroke lead in 2010, Steve Stricker managed a 1-under 70 in the final round to win by two shots over Luke Donald. Stricker fired rounds of 67-65-66 on the first three days to finish at 16- under-par 268. Stricker matched the record for consecutive rounds in the 60s at this tournament in 2010. Johnny Miller established the mark of eight in 1981-82. Stricker joined him at that number with a 69 in the final round of 2008, rounds of 68-66-69-67 in 2009, and began the 2010 event with rounds of 67-65-66.

In 2009, Mickelson needed a pair of birdies late in the final round to rally and beat Stricker. Mickelson shot rounds of 63-72-62-72 to finish at 15-under 269 and win by one stroke. With his victory, Mickelson became the seventh player to win this event two straight years. Macdonald Smith (1928-29), Hogan (1947-48), Paul Harney (1964-65), Arnold Palmer (1966-67), Corey Pavin (1994-95) and Weir (2003-04) are the only other players to accomplish this feat.

Couples has won twice and finished second three times. Overall, Couples has 14 top 10s in 31 appearances. He passed Gene Littler in 2013 to become the all- time leader in appearances with 31.

The win in 2008 was Mickelson's first at Riviera in his 10th appearance. He became the third player to win all four of the current stops in California on the PGA Tour, joining fellow California natives Billy Casper and Miller. Those events are the Farmers Insurance Open, Humana Challenge, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and Northern Trust Open.

Rory Sabbatini fired a second-round 65 in 2006 to lead by four strokes and never looked back. Sabbatini struggled to a 1-over 72 in the final round to finish at 13-under-par 271. He became the first player to win this event with an over-par final round since Tom Purtzer shot a 72 in 1977.

Back in 2005, Adam Scott posted a par on the first playoff hole to win the weather-shortened event over Chad Campbell. The third round had begun Sunday afternoon, but more rain Sunday night into Monday rendered the course unplayable, and the tournament was officially shortened to 36 holes. It was the first time in tournament history that the event was shortened to 36 holes. In the first 78 years of the tournament, only in 1993 had the event played less than the scheduled 72 holes. That year, Tom Kite won a five-way playoff after 54 holes.

The PGA Tour travels to Arizona next week for the World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play Championship, where Kuchar will defend his title against the best players in the world.

02/11 14:09:22 ET

As of February 11, 2014, at 02:10 PM ET