Amidst a sea of predictions and golf buzz, Aussie Aaron Baddeley stole the spotlight when he earned the victory at the Northern Trust Open last weekend at Riviera Country Club in Palisades, CA.
While Phil Mickelson was the fan favorite and owned the momentum heading into the event.
Searching for his third victory in three attempts at the Northern Trust, he—and many of the other highly ranked, elite players—grappled with the arduous conditions of Riviera.
From the brutal fescue grass to the intimidating, narrow tee shots that demanded precision, big names like Jim Furyk and Rickie Fowler plummeted down the leaderboard while new faces soared, like Spencer Levin and Jimmy Walker.
For Baddeley, it was his consistency—four consecutive rounds in the 60s (the only player in the field to accomplish that feat)—that branded him champion Sunday under the sunshine of Southern California.
But was Baddeley's success a surprise or telling of what's to come?
What else did we learn from the Northern Trust Open?