Northern Trust Open: Preview, Tee Times and Coverage Info

Carlos TorresContributor IFebruary 15, 2012

PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Tournament execuctive director and NBA legend Jerry West (L) and champion Aaron Baddeley of Australia talk during trophy ceremonies after the final round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club on February 20, 2011 in Pacific Palisades, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Northern Trust Open is the final stop on the PGA Tour’s West Coast swing, and will present us with a top-quality field that will contend for the $1.188 million winning share.

The Riviera Country Club at Pacific Palisades, California, will once again play host for the tournament formerly known as the Los Angeles Open. The par value for the course will be par-71, with a total yardage of 7,279 yards.

The defending champ, Aaron Baddeley, is back to defend his title at Hogan's Alley, and he will be joined by eight other former champs, including two-time champ Phil Mickelson.

Last year, Baddeley rode his putter to close with a two-under(-par) 69 final round and held off veterans Vijay Singh and Fred Couples to win for the first time in four years.

He will be looking for some more fireworks this year, as Singh and Couples are also back looking to rekindle last year's magic.

Mickelson is up to 11th in the world rankings thanks to his resounding victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last weekend.

He will most certainly be the player who will garner the most attention. Coming into the tournament carrying all the momentum in the world, and considering his previous success here—including back-to-back wins in 2008-09—he will be a must-watch this weekend.

Joining Baddeley and Mickelson will be four of the world’s top-10 players: Luke Donald (No. 1), Jason Day (No. 7), Adam Scott (No. 8) and Dustin Johnson (No. 10).

Donald, Day and Scott will be making their PGA season debut.

PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 12:  Phil Mickelson celebrates his par-saving putt on the 15th hole during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links on February 12, 2012 in Pebble Beach, California. Mickelson won with
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Donald, who won the US and European money titles last year, will be looking for a better start this year at this tournament. This was the site of his only non-major missed cut last year.

He comes off a T48 finish at Abu Dhabi, and could use a good showing here to propel him to his tile defense next weekend at the WGC Accenture Match Play.

Day, who was a runner-up last year at the Masters and the US Open, is up to seventh in the world—a career high—thanks to his runner-up finish in Qatar a couple of weeks ago.

The 24-year-old Day also missed the cut here last year. He is expecting his first child later this year and might even miss playing at The Open.

But his focus is on the present and boosting his already career-best ranking.

Scott is making his first start this year. His late start is due in part to having his tonsils taken out in December. He is coming off a three-month layoff and we last saw him finishing T4 at the Australian PGA Championship.

He is ready to play, but with such a long layoff, he might be a little rusty, and might just be looking to get back on track to continue his climb up the world rankings.

Johnson is another top player who missed the cut here last year. He entered the PGA Championship last year ranked fourth in the world and is down to 10th right now.

But he had his best showing of the year last weekend at Pebble Beach. He opened with a share of the lead, and had a shot at winning, but finished T5. He will be looking forward to keep improving and get back up those world rankings.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 28:  Luke Donald of England hits a shot on the eighth hole during the third round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club on January 28, 2012 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Another player to watch will be Kyle Stanley. With his win in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago, he is up from 150 to 52 in the world rankings and leads the FedEx Cup standings.

Stanley didn’t play here last year, but his roller coaster showings in the last two tournaments make him a worthy watch.

Will he be able to maintain his recent solid play and continue his move up the rankings? There is only one way to find out: watching.

The other three players in the top five in the FedEx Cup standings besides Stanley (No. 1) and Mickelson (No. 5)—Johnson Wagner (No. 2), Mark Wilson (No. 3) and Brand Snedeker (No.4)—will also play this weekend.

All three are also winners already this year, and are looking to move atop the FedEx Cup standings with a win here.

Wagner did not play last year, while Wilson finished T74 and Snedeker missed the cut.

Other players with notable previous success here who are worth watching this weekend include FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas, K.J. Choi, Sergio Garcia and Kevin Na.

Also worth noting is the participation of the top two players in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and 2011 US Walker Cup teammates, Patrick Cantlay (UCLA Bruins) and Jordan Spieth (Texas Longhorns).


TEE TIMES (Notables)

Riviera Country Club Tee #1



6:55 am

Levin, Spencer

Stadler, Kevin

Gillis, Tom

7:16 am

Wilson, Mark

Choi, K.J.

Woodland, Gary

7:27 am

Haas, Bill

Rose, Justin

Byrd, Jonathan

7:37 am

Na, Kevin

Stallings, Scott

Kim, Anthony

7:58 am

Wagner, Johnson

Molder, Bryce

Bettencourt, Matt

12:01 pm

Day, Jason

Garcia, Sergio

Couples, Fred

12:12 pm

Mickelson, Phil

Stanley, Kyle

Snedeker, Brandt



Riviera Country Club Tee #10



7:06 am

Fowler, Rickie

Barnes, Ricky

Wi, Charlie

7:16 am

Donald, Luke

Scott, Adam

Watney, Nick

7:27 am

Johnson, Dustin

Watson, Bubba

Baddeley, Aaron

8:30 am

Lovemark, Jamie

Biershenk, Tommy

Cantlay, Patrick*

8:40 am

Ishikawa, Ryo

Lee, Danny

Spieth, Jordan*

12:01 pm

Mahan, Hunter

Ogilvy, Geoff

Singh, Vijay

12:12 pm

Bradley, Keegan

Kuchar, Matt

Howell III, Charles

12:33 pm

Lunde, Bill

Els, Ernie

Leonard, Justin

12:43 pm

Sabbatini, Rory

Clark, Tim

Harrington, Padraig

 For a complete listing of the tournament tee times, click here.






Thursday Feb. 16

Golf Channel - 3:00-6:00 pm EST

Sirius XM – 12:00-6:00 pm EST

Friday Feb. 17

Golf Channel - 3:00-6:00 pm EST

Sirius XM – 12:00-6:00 pm EST

Saturday Feb. 18

CBS – 3:00-6:00 pm EST

Sirius XM – 12:00-6:00 pm EST

Sunday Feb. 19

CBS – 3:00-6:30 pm EST

Sirius XM – 12:00-6:00 pm EST