2017 The Northern Trust Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Happy February, folks!  It’s Northern Trust Open week!  Wait a tic, you mean we’re not at Riviera again?  Dangit, I digress (hey, at least we already got a double dose of Hogan’s Alley with the thrilling U.S. Amateur being played there last week).  

This week on the PGA Tour it’s the Northern Trust, a tournament already so revered that it is too cool to have the word “Championship” or “Open” or “Invitational” after it (yes, I realize that the latter two wouldn’t make sense since this is the FedEx Cup Playoffs), but hey, talk about a stuffy way to make an introduction (just kidding- sort of).

The course is the Glen Oaks Club on Long Island, NY.  It’s more than a wee bit of an uppity joint and also should provide a stern test, tipping out at 7,350 yards and a par 70.  Lots of unknowns this week as it’s hosting a PGA Tour event for the first time.

Three weeks ago at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (no picks last week) I had Justin Thomas as my LOCKZILLA and Patrick Reed as my Semi-Flier.  Yep, talk about being one week premature!  (Thomas won the following week at the PGA and P Reed finished t-2nd).  Yowza.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLA

Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar
– Trending upward again after his British Open runner-up, including a t-9th at the PGA Championship two weeks ago.  Just because it’s a 7,350 yard par 70 course doesn’t mean you should only latch onto bombers, as Koooch can contend nearly anywhere, especially a course that resembles Augusta where he’s on the leaderboard nearly every year.

SEMI-FLIER

Marc Leishman
Marc Leishman
– Been playing some mighty solid golf for months now, having not missed a PGA Tour cut since May (PLAYERS), carding six top 20s in nine events in that timespan, including t-13th at the PGA Championship two weeks ago.  At 14th in the FedEx Cup Standings, he’s a helluva good sleeper pick to win the whole damn thing.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST

Charley Hoffman
Charley Hoffman
– A very impressive run of late for Charley, but predicting that previously red hot play comes to an end this week.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson
– Whoa!  Surprised?!  Safe to say that I never thought Lefty would fit into this Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD spot, but given the complete debacle that was his PGA Championship performance two weeks ago, his ownership level this week on an unknown course will be at record low levels (FYI- Phil loves him some Quail Hollow but hated the makeover and the Bermuda grass = ignore that performance and move on).  Yes he seems a mess since separating from Bones in July, but his season long form had been solid up until that point through the Greenbrier Classic, and I’m not going to fall into the trap thinking that this 5-time major champ suddenly forgot how to golf his ball.  Oh yeah, and Phil has had A) some mighty good success on poa annua greens in his career (see his crazy good West Coast record), which are the green surfaces this week B) he loves him some Augusta, which this course has been referred to as the “Augusta of the North” and C) he’s also had some good successes in the state of NY in his career and will definitely have plenty of fans on his side this week.  Go extra BOLD with some Lefty this week and thank me later.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

Speak Your Mind

*