It’s the beginning of the Florida swing on tour, and it could not come soon enough. The West Coast swing just did not go well. If I thought my $72,000 output at Pebble was sad, I topped it last week with a $71,000. Time to get back on track..
Northern Trust Open Recap
(Photo: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)
CLV: $71,585 – YTD: $2,597,209
PAR: $143,518 – YTD: $3,564,879
CLV: Sergio Garcia (MC)
PAR: Justin Rose (T16)
Best Finish: Bubba Watson (1)
CLV: Out of all of the possibilities available in a loaded Group 1, I pick the one who misses the cut. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Sergio bounce back this week, but I won’t get burned twice. Bubba continues to be a walking contradiction. At a venue seemingly suited for in Phoenix, he complains about not wanting to be there. At a much tougher and tighter course, though, he fits right at home.
PAR: Rose is always in contention. Will capitalize in short order. I feel it. Classic Bubba. When you least expect it… but maybe we should expect it more at Augusta and Riviera!
CLV: Paul Casey (T39)
PAR: Charl Schwartzel (T45)
Best Finish: Adam Scott (T2)
CLV: Casey was another player with a strong performance at Riviera and PGA National last year. T39 is better than a missed cut, but nothing to be impressed with. I watched that Sunday round for Adam Scott, and other than the great chip in at 18, he still looks shaky with the putter. I’m not buying on him yet.
PAR: Across the world flight perhaps sapped more energy from Charl than the joy of winning could provide. Strong US debut for Adam. Looks like the long putter change won’t be as much of a factor as many expected.
CLV: Hiroshi Iwata (MC)
PAR: Luke Donald (T45)
Best Finish: K.J. Choi (T5)
CLV: This is typical fantasy golf. Iwata goes for fourth at Pebble, probably bounces back this week, too. Choi was looking strong going into Pebble, then misses the cut, bounces back last week. As I said, typical fantasy golf.
PAR: [Editor’s note: No comment on Luke, lol] Another strong performance in early 2016 for KJ. Looks like Pebble was an outlier.
CLV: Kyle Reifers (T26)
PAR: John Huh (MC)
Best Finish: Jason Kokrak (T2)
CLV: Reifers was my only hope this week. Faded on Sunday with a +1, resulting in another bad week for me. Kokrak to me will forever be the guy standing on the 6th tee at the 2013 BMW Championship at Conway Farms, talking trash to Phil while he was up at the 6th green: “Nice putt Phil! Anyone can make an 8 foot par putt!” It doesn’t make much sense, but it was funny to hear him try to trash Phil.
PAR: Huh, indeed. Very surprising after recent play.
The Honda Classic
CLV: Hideki Matsuyama
Very good form recently, with a win in Phoenix and a T11 last week.
PAR: Rory McIlroy
Where did Rory win to become World #1? Honda (also lost in playoff in 2014).
CLV: Kevin Kisner
One of the most consistent players on tour, and #2 in the FedEx Cup standings. Debuted at the Honda last year with a T51. Hoping he can improve on that performance this year.
PAR: Russell Knox
Lost in Honda Playoff in 2014.
CLV: Jim Herman
A little bit of an unknown, but coming off a 17th place finish at Riviera and a T7 last year at the Honda. Makes him worth a shot this week. Next week I’ll probably vow to never pick him again.
PAR: Russell Henley
Won Honda Playoff in 2014.
CLV: Tyrone van Aswegen
Coming off a T20 at Riviera that included an ace, and two top 20’s in the last 3 weeks. A T24 two years ago at the Honda gives me some hope that he will come through in Group 4 for me.
PAR: Ernie Els
The Honda Classic either sponsors or is otherwise highly involved with Els for Autism and Ernie won the Honda Classic in 2008. He’ll bring his best to this event. I know it. Also, I could not find Ryan Palmer who lost in Honda playoff in 2014.