A trip to Hogan's Alley
The Tour heads to historic Riviera Country Club for the 2016 Northern Trust Open. This week’s field is strong with 15 of the top 30 players in the world teeing it up at Hogan’s Alley. James Hahn triumphed in 2015, winning in a playoff over Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey.
Rory McIlroy will make his PGA Tour debut this week and his first career appearance at Riviera, a set-up that should bode well for his game given the premium it places on ball-striking.
Also competing is world number 1, Jordan Spieth, who has good memories of Riviera dating all the way back to his college year when he led the University of Texas to the 2012 National Championship. In the match-play finale, Spieth (representing Texas) squared off against best friend Justin Thomas (who represented the University of Alabama), with Spieth getting the best. The PGA Tour parlayed this piece of history with their early round pairings, putting Spieth and Thomas in the same group along with 56-year-old Freddie Couples, who is making his remarkable 34th career start at Riviera.
Danielson earns exemption
An interesting wrinkle to this week’s event was the Northern Trust Open’s Collegiate Showcase, hosted at Riviera on Monday. The Collegiate Showcase brought 14 of the country’s top collegiate players and 2 non-collegiate amateurs to vie for the 1-day championship and an exemption into this week’s field. University of Illinois golfer Charlie Danielson came out on top, powered by a bogey-free 68 to win by 3 shots over last year’s champ, Will Zalatoris from Wake Forest.
Hardboiled Picks to Click
Stat of the week:
An oft-overlooked strategy for DraftKings is matching players’ salaries to their world rankings. Many international players who have high world rankings are less-valued in comparison to American players that we see play week in and week out.
Stud: Andy Sullivan
DraftKings Salary: $8,500
The Englishman will be coming into the event hot after the European Tour’s desert swing saw him finish 2nd at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and hold the 36-hole lead at the Abu Dhabi, before stumbling on the weekend to a t24th. Sullivan is ranked 29th in the world and will save you about $1,000 in comparison to players of similar caliber.
Sleeper: Steven Bowditch
DraftKings Salary: $6,100
The Bowdog has two career PGA Tour wins, qualified for last year’s President’s Cup team and is ranked 75th in the world. The low cost of $6,100 for a guy who has proven he can compete and win on tour allows for big spending elsewhere in your lineup.
The “World Tour” heads to Malaysia
From the Middle East to South Africa to Malaysia, European Tour players are racking up the frequent flyer miles these days. This week’s Maybank Championship features some of the European Tour’s best, including Danny Willett, Martin Kaymer, Louis Oostheizen and fan-favorite Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Return of the Battle of Bighorn?
In exciting news, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler will go head-to-head in a primetime match under the lights, similar to the annual “Monday Night Golf” events starring Tiger Woods circa 1999-2005. McIlroy and Fowler are adding a unique twist to the series by inviting celebrity partners to the event. While the celebrity appearances and format have yet to be announced, the event is on the books for Tuesday, June 7th at Detroit Golf Club.
Nike unveils new clothing collection
Nike made a splash earlier this year signing high-powered young stars Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau to their tour roster, which already included big names Rory McIlroy, Jamie Lovemark and Patrick Rodgers. Now they are making headlines with their new fashion-forward clothing line for 2016 dubbed the “Enemies of the Course” collection. The new line features a new type of collar dubbed the “Fly Blade”, high-tops, tights and Rickie Fowler-esque joggers. With big brands Nike and Puma pushing the edge of golf-appropriate clothing, it appears that traditionalists will have to come around sooner rather than later.
More on Nike’s star….
Nike’s signature golf athlete, Rory McIlroy, drew the ire of oft-outspoken Golf Channel analyst, Brandel Chamblee, for his workout habits. Chamblee voiced concern over Rory’s growing muscle mass and drew comparisons to another Nike athlete, Tiger Woods. Chamblee believes Tiger’s game declined when he gained too much muscle mass, sacrificing the fluidity and flexibility in his swing. McIlroy publicly responded with this video...
Why he wouldn’t take this guy’s fitness advice, we’ll never know...
Everyone’s favorite, the squat. While this exercise can render its out-of-shape victims unable to perform daily tasks for days, it is the best in golf training. Not only do squats strengthen a golfer’s key lower body muscles (the glutes, quads and calves), but they also promote total body muscle building through the release of testosterone. Now go activate those glutes.
Happy Gilmore turns 20 years old.
Take a look as we honor of one of the most iconic films of golf...
Rory McIlroy’s favorite line.
Graham DeLaet’s doppelganger.
A reflection from Shooter himself.