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      Sleeper Picks: Northern Trust Open

    • Ted Potter Jr. has three top 10s in 54 starts on the PGA TOUR. One was at Riviera last year. (Pennington/Getty Images) Ted Potter Jr. has three top 10s in 54 starts on the PGA TOUR. One was at Riviera last year. (Pennington/Getty Images)
     
    Justin Hicks ... After five appearances in this feature last season, he makes this year's debut this week. He's also a first-timer at Riviera, but his splits are too impressive to ignore. Currently 10th in total driving, third in greens hit, 44th in strokes gained-putting and 31st in adjusted scoring. Also 10th in bogey avoidance. It's no wonder he's already 7-for-9 on the season with three top 20s and sits 43rd in FedExCup points.
     
      Cameron Tringale ... He's survived seven of 10 cuts on the season and ranks 58th in FedExCup points, but didn't make any waves until a T12 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and a T13 last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. With top 25s in all three tries at Riviera, he's armed with a pair of upward arrows. Now in his fifth season on TOUR, the 26-year-old native of southern California always been a sum-is-greater-than-his-parts talent, but he ranked 10th in strokes gained-putting at TPC Scottsdale and third in his two loops of Pebble Beach, so there's an elevated confidence in his stroke at the moment.
     
      Luke Guthrie ... By and large, first-time participants do not fare well at Riviera Country Club. The 2013 PGA TOUR rookie was an exception as he scored par or better in every round despite 15 bogeys and a double. He compensated by ranking T6 in greens hit and T3 in par breakers, especially impressive given he finished 60th in strokes gained-putting. He's logged one top five and two more top 25s already as a sophomore, and sits eighth in strokes gained-putting, 25th in adjusted scoring, 27th in scrambling, T19 in par-4 scoring and 35th bogey avoidance.
     
      Morgan Hoffmann ... Making his debut at Riviera. Arrives having finished T16 at Torrey Pines and T15 at TPC Scottsdale to end a drought without a top-40 finish in nine starts dating back to July. Ranks 117th in greens in regulation but 42nd in scrambling. Also 48th in strokes gained-putting and 50th in adjusted scoring. While Riviera's learning curve may delay his success, so many of similar pedigree before him have embraced its challenge. Many have triumphed.
     
      Ted Potter, Jr. ... The lefty has three top 10s in 54 starts on the PGA TOUR. Two occurred at The Greenbrier Classic where he won as a rookie in 2012; the other occurred at Riviera last year. En route to his share of 10th place, he ranked second in fairways hit, T10 in greens in regulation, 15th in proximity to the hole, third in scrambling and T3 in par-4 scoring average. He could use some form like that again this week since he's missed four consecutive cuts and sits T166 in the FedExCup standings.
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