Northern Trust Open Preview & Groups To Watch

By Mike Wolfe
2/16/2012 3:01:04 PM

The golf world is still buzzing over Phil Mickelson's comeback win last week as they tee it up at Riviera Country Club for the Northern Trust Open (@NTrustOpen). Aaron Baddeley (@AaronBadds) is the defending champion and will look to follow up his top five finish last week with another good showing here. 

 

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The world's top ranked golfer, Luke Donald (@LukeDonald), makes his 2012 PGA Tour debut. Donald had two PGA Tour wins in 2011 and earned the money titles both in the USA and Europe. Jason Day and Adam Scott join Donald in making their first starts of the season. Day is currently ranked 7th in the world and is searching for his first win since the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship. Scott, ranked 8th in the world, is coming off a great 2011 in which he won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and had seven top 10 finishes. 

Three Groups To Watch at the Northern Trust Open

 3. Kyle Stanley, Phil Mickelson & Brandt Snedeker: The three most recent PGA Tour winners will have a lot of the focus on them. Stanley was known briefly for his collapse on the 72nd hole allowing Brandt Snedeker to win the Farmers Insurance Open. Fortunately he followed it up with a win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. For me this group is all about Mickelson who earned his 40th career PGA Tour victory last week at Pebble Beach.

2. Dustin Johnson, Aaron Baddeley & Bubba Watson: We mentioned Baddeley being the defending champion and his top five finish last week. Dustin Johnson (@DJohnsonPGA) finished in a tie for 5th at Pebble Beach and will look to continue momentum and Waston (@BubbaWatson) has not finished outside the top 20 in all three of his starts this season. 

1. Luke Donald, Nick Watney & Adam Scott: These are three of the most exciting players in the game. Can Donald continue to play the way he did in 2011 and possibly win a major this year? Will Adam Scott continue to win and possibly earn his first career major? Nick Watney struggled at the end of 2011 and it hasn't been a great start to 2012. Hopefully playing with Donald and Scott will help get him going.

Picks to Win:

@WAMGolfs: Bubba Watson

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