Playing the Tips

Expert Picks: Northern Trust

Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Welcome to Playing the Tips! 

Each week this will be the one-stop resource to soak in all the picks from our group of fantasy staffers from We’ll have all of our selections from the, Yahoo! Fantasy Golf, as well as One-and-Done & DFS recommendations. 

Our man Ryan O'Sullivan previewed the course and set out some rankings, check out his Northern Trust Open Preview. To check out what you may have missed last week, Mo Yoshimoto has you covered in his AT&T Pro-Am recap. Fantasy Golf

Ryan O’Sullivan


2016 Earnings: $4,466,086

2016 Rank: 4,566 of 32,727

Group 1: Jordan Spieth

Group 2: J.B. Holmes

Group 3: Freddie Jacobson

Group 4: Roberto Castro

ANALYSIS: Instead of the course horses we often see here, Ryan has opted for some more recent form. Let's see if this team can stay hot! 

Josh Culp


2016 Earnings: $3,905,406

2016 Rank: 8,191 of 32,727

Group 1: Jordan Spieth

Group 2: J.B. Holmes

Group 3: Keegan Bradley

Group 4: Carlos Ortiz

ANALYSIS: In a format where starts are unlimited, it's always automatic to plug-and-play Jordan Spieth. J.B. Holmes combined great course history with great current form. Bradley lacks some of that recent form, but makes up for it with top 20s in his last four trips to Riviera. Ortiz is a wildcard. He finished T20 here last year in his debut, citing the correlation between Riviera CC and his home coruse back in Mexico as the key link. 



Mo Yoshimoto


2016 Earnings: $3,015,554

2016 Rank: 15,404 of 32,727

Group 1: Rory McIlroy

Group 2: J.B. Holmes

Group 3: Keegan Bradley

Group 4: John Huh

ANALYSIS: Going with the class-angle, selecting Rory in his Riviera debut. Keegan and Holmes are great course horses while John Huh is en feugo! 

Yahoo! Fantasy Golf

*Make sure you check our Twitter accounts for any updates before the first tee ball flies on Thursday. Change in weather, tee times, etc. can always lead to last-minute changes and we will let you know through our social media channels. 
Josh Culp

“Future of Fantasy” 

Last week's points: 949
Ranking: 3,749


Group A

Dustin Johnson: The course history makes this an easy choice. Runner-up finishes in the last two editions here and he doesn't mind putting on poa annua greens. 

Jordan Spieth: The Northern Trust Open gave him a sponsor exemption when he was just a young pup trying to make it on the TOUR. He thanks them greatly for that, and just might thank them with a victory this week. 

Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott


Group B

Jimmy Walker: Cites Riviera Country Club as his favorite course on the PGA TOUR. When someone with his cachet speaks that greatly of a coruse, you must listen closely! 

J.B. Holmes: He's a top 25 machine to kick off the season (4-for-4). Throw in six top 25s at Riviera CC and we have ourselves a great play this week in all formats! 

Hideki Matsuyama: Making his first start since stealing a victory from Rickie Fowler at the WM Phoenix Open. No reason to expect a letdown as he's carded red numbers in six of his eight career rounds at Riviera CC. UPDATE: Playing it safe and subbing in Justin Rose in place of Matasyuma after his pro-am WD. 

Cameron Tringale: Taking a slight detour here from the obvious play, Rory McIlroy. With limited starts on the World No. 3, I am going to hold off as he faces Riviera CC for the first time. Always makes for a great play though. Tringale on the other hand has shown he can handle this difficult track, posting top 25s in four of his five visits. 


Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Harris English


Group C

Charl Schwartzel: The South African has gained more than 2 strokes per round over the field here in 12 career rounds. It could be the kikuyu grass or it could just be his great tee-to-green game. Either way, he's a stud this week. 

Patrick Rodgers: This is not the safe route by any means, but Rodgers continues to trend toward that first TOUR win. I feel pretty confident in Schwartzel as my starter, so I'm really just going to break the glass and use Rodgers in case of emergency. 

Bill Haas, Paul Casey


Ryan O’Sullivan (O)

“The Golf Aficionado”

Winter Segment points: 962
Ranking: 2,560


Group A
Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia

Group B
Rory McIlroyJimmy WalkerHideki Matsuyama, and J.B. Holmes UPDATE: Subbing Out Matsuyama for Charles Howell III due to Matsuyama's pro-am WD. 

Group C
Bill Haas and Charl Schwartzel


Mo Yoshimoto


Winter Segment Points: 937
Season Ranking: 5,129

Group A
Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia

Group B
Rory McIlroy, J.B. Holmes, Hideki Matsuyama, and Justin Rose

Group C
John Huh and Freddie Jacobson




Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]

I will be giving out these selections for one team each week, entered into the $3 Drive the Green contest. 

This contest has a large number of entries, with guaranteed prize payouts, which means we can't play it safe if we want to see our name at the top! 

Give DFS golf a whirl and draft your team today! 

DraftKings Picks:

Charl Schwartzel ($9,600): Just won in his home country of South Africa. He's done well in the past when traveling the week before this event, so jet lag should not be a concern. 

J.B. Holmes ($9,800): He's been featured many times in the picks above, but he makes for a great selection in all formats! Form + Course History = Success. 

Keegan Bradley ($7,800): Showed gamers he's not completely lost. Following up a pair of MCs with a T24 in Phoenix. His tee-to-green game is so good that his putter is really just a throw-in. He can grab a top 30 without putting well. A good putting week would really throw him into the mix. 

Harris English ($8,100): A Steady Eddie in terms of making it to the weekend. He's a bargain for this salary and we know he's capable of winning, evidence by his two career PGA TOUR victories. 

K.J. Choi ($7,100): Can't forget about this course horse as he's finished top 35 in 13 of his 15 starts at Riviera CC. 

Patrick Rodgers ($7,300): This up-and-coming superstar continues to be priced too low. In the fall he was priced up in the eight and nine thousand range due to field strength. I don't think he's afraid to mix and mingle with the big dawgs, so I love this price point. 

Other Picks to Consider

Daniel Summerhays ($6,500): When you play in large GPPs on DraftKings, you have to think about ownership levels. After he burned owners last week, his ownership levels should be extremely low. 

Jimmy Walker ($10,400): He salvages his tournament with a hot fiya third round last week. He ended up T11 even with his B or C game for most of the week. Now he turns to his favorite course on TOUR. Should land back in the top 15 this week. 

Cameron Tringale ($7,000): I feel like a broken record at this point but with 16 career top 10s to his name, its just a matter of time before he converts. His track record here suggests Riviera CC could be a viable landing spot for that victory. 


Each week I think aloud to provide you with my One-and-Done selection as well as a few alternatives. Fade or Follow? You decide!

Let's start with our usual short list. I want golfers that have performed above their expecations here in the past. This week that includes Charl Schwartzel, Keegan Bradley, K.J. Choi, Cameron Tringale, J.B. Holmes, and Sergio Garcia. The first two to get the boot are Choi and Tringale because they are a step below in terms of class. Great selections for leagues that require two picks per week. I'd rather see Keegan catch fire before investing for OAD. Schwartzel makes for a great pick after a win last week in South Africa. I will pass though, because he's making just his third start of the PGA TOUR season. I may regret passing on him. Same goes for Sergio (lack of PGA TOUR play). Instead, I will go with J.B. Holmes as my pick this week! He's posted top 25s in all four starts this season and sports six top 25s at Riviera CC in nine tries. I love when the form and course history collide like this! 

Past Results:
AT&T Pro-Am: 
Like most weeks I want to narrow it down to course horses to begin with. This week that will lead me to Dustin JohnsonJimmy WalkerPhil Mickelson, and Brandt Snedeker. I've already used DJ, so he's not an option for me. Makes for a great play for those who still have him available. Walker has four top 10s in his last five starts here. Mickelson has experience on his side and he's making his 20th start at the event, with four Pro-Am trophies to his name. Sneds has a pair of AT&T Pro-Am victories, but six other finishes outisde the top 20. It pains to not not take Snedeker since I saved him at the Farmers because of this event. But, now that it's decision time, I'm going with Jimmy Walker this week! ... RESULT: A third-round 63 saved the week for Walker as he finished T11. Not terrible, but Phil obviously would have been the best pick of the three I had it narrowed down to. 

WMPO: While Steele is intriguing, I couldn't ignore his play during the weekends this year, sadly pass. Simpson was next to evaluate, but I could easily think of two places to use him down the road (Wells Fargo & Wyndham) so I will let him go as well. That leaves me with two lefties that can hit it a long way. While it's easy to find place I will want to use Bubba (Masters and Travelers pop to mind), I could say the same about Phil, as well. So, I am going to stick with my gut, and the chalk, selecting Bubba Watson as my OAD pick... RESULT: He backdoored a T14 after slipping on Saturday with a 2-over 73. Not the podium finish we hoped for, but it will suffice. 

Farmers: This week is a relatively easy one. The Farmers has plenty of course history, unlike last week. The two names that stick out above the rest are Brandt Snedeker and Charles Howell III. Can we cross out either due to poor form? Nope. Both are playing excellent golf currently. Will we miss either of them down the road at future tournaments? Yes. Snedeker has many stops on TOUR that he enjoys. That includes Pebble Beach in just a couple weeks. So, let's save Snedeker and go with Charles Howell III this week at the Farmers... RESULT: My decision to save Sneds looked good on Friday as he snuck into the weekend. A big pile of WELP was served though as Snedeker came from behind to grab a victory. A T17 from CH3 is not too disappointing though. 

CareerBuilder: Sticking to my plan, I want as much chalk as possible. I've already used Matt Kuchar and Bill HaasZach Johnson is better left for the Crowne Plaza or John Deere Classic. I'm not high on Reed due to his poor track record on Pete Dye courses, so scratch him off, as well. That leaves me with Kevin Na for my pick this week! Given the pace of play with all the amateurs on the course this week, Na should fit right in and pick up his fourth podium finish of the season (hopefully)!... RESULT: Na pulled through with that podium finish we asked for. Successful week. 

Sony Open: My strategy is to stick to the chalk as much as possible, and try not to overthink myself out of the easy picks. This week that narrows it down to Matt Kuchar or Jimmy Walker. The latter has more pressure on him as the two-time defending champ entering the week. Therefore, I will go with Matt Kuchar this week...  RESULT: He teased us but fought his way back to a T13, which is acceptable. 

Hyundai TOC: "Right up the gut, and this week that gut tells me Dustin Johnson is the safest route. In 19 rounds at the Hyundai, he's never posted an over-par round. In 11 of those 19 rounds, he signed for sub-70. He hoisted the trophy in 2013 and his worst finish in five tries is a T16."... RESULT: Finished T10, not killer but I really wanted a little more out of my DJ usage.










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