Aaron Baddeley: He has already won at Riviera in the past (2011). In 2012 he finished tied for 11th. He has 10 career starts at Riviera Country Club and has NEVER missed a cut. His game and eye obviously set up nicely for this event. In 2013 Baddeley has four starts and two top-15 finishes. He is also currently ninth on tour in strokes gained putting, a hot commodity at the Northern Trust. He has a shot.
Charl Schwartzel: Let’s face it, the man has game. He has a second place finish at the Joburg Open on the European Tour in 2013 and finished last season with two impressive victories heading into the holidays. He is full of confidence and has the game to back it up. It is his debut this weekend but that won’t affect his drive to win. He shows up and automatically makes my contenders list.
Luke Donald: Another first time starter in 2013 makes my contender list. The former World number one ended 2012 on a hot streak. His final five starts of 2012 yielded a victory and three other top three finishes. Luke also has five top-15 finishes at Riviera for his career. If it was a major I wouldn’t back Donald (sorry Luke but it is reality) but given the event and his past form it is hard not to consider him a viable win option.
Jimmy Walker: Let’s be honest; he isn’t a name folks outside of golf circles know. He has never won a PGA Tour event but the guy can play and appears poised to take the next step. In his last three events Walker has two top-4 finishes including a tie for third at Pebble Beach last week. In his last two starts at Riviera (2011 and 2012) he has finished tied for fourth. He is too good to win and proved he likes this course. Contender.
Up Next: The Pick