Sleepers: Northern Trust Open
February 16, 2016
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
- Patrick Rodgers has five top-20 finishes already this season. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist Rob Bolton lists five against-the-grain fantasy selections to consider for this week's Northern Trust Open.
Brendan Steele … Just missed “automatically qualifying” for the Power Rankings with a T17 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and top 15s in the last two years at Riviera. Ranked T3 and T2 in greens hit here in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Sits seventh in the all-around ranking this season with three top 20s. Can’t rule out the hometown factor here, either. The native of Idyllwild, California, lives just down the coast in Irvine.
Patrick Rodgers … Despite the perennial depth of its field, the Northern Trust Open boasts first-time winners in two of its last three editions. John Merrick broke through in 2013, while James Hahn survived a three-way playoff last year. Rodgers is only 31 starts as a professional into his PGA TOUR career, but it’s a foregone conclusion that he’ll be lifting hardware sooner than later. Two top 10s and another trio of top 20s already this season. Currently 25th in total driving, ninth in greens hit, fifth in strokes gained: tee-to-green and 10th in adjusted scoring.
William McGirt … Recovered from an opening 78 at Spyglass Hill with red numbers in his next two rounds last week but still missed the cut, so he’s excused for experiencing one bad round. A T24 the week prior at TPC Scottsdale was his fourth top 25 of the season, the first three were top 15s. Tied for sixth at Riviera in 2014 and finished T14 last year. Ranks 15th in strokes gained: tee-to-green and 18th in adjusted scoring.
Aaron Baddeley ... Without a T8 at the wind-blown Farmers Insurance Open three weeks ago, it’s fair to argue if he belongs on this page. He also tied for fourth in Mississippi in early November, but the Aussie didn’t crack the top 40 in his other six starts this season. However, that he’s piecing together a solid season overall despite Past Champion status demands respect. Also the 2011 winner at Riviera where he’s added a pair of top 20s in each of the two even-numbered years since.
Graham DeLaet ... With a game built to take pleasure on tee-to-green playgrounds like Riviera, it’s not surprising that he’s 4-for-4 here with a personal-best T8 last year. Piling onto his known strengths of distance off the tee and collecting an above-average number of scoring opportunities, the Canadian ranked T6 in fairways hit en route to leading the field in the all-around ranking. Currently 31st on TOUR in greens in regulation, but arrives with only one red number in his last six rounds, including both at TPC Scottsdale where the 36-hole cut was even par.
ROB BOLTON'S WRITING SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM's Fantasy Columnist will be filing his usual staples leading up to this week's event. Look for the following features later this week:
MONDAY: Power Rankings
TUESDAY: Sleepers, Fantasy Insider
WEDNESDAY: One-and-Done, Comfort Zone
THURSDAY: Most-picked players