Northern Trust Open Golf : Odds suggest Mickelson, Garcia and Donald set to dominate market

This week’s golf comes from the Northern Trust Open, as Paddy Power release the latest odds on outright winner with Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia & Luke Donald attracting plenty of interest.

The event from the Riviera Country Club in California has attracted a stellar field, with the likes of Donald, Adam Scott and Graeme McDowell make their first appearance of the new season.

The 2012 tournament won in dramatic fashion by Bill Haas who came through an intriguing three-way playoff with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley to land the $2.5 million prize fund.

Haas is back to defend his crown again but he is yet to really trouble the big hitters so far this season. You can get 28/1 with Bet365 on Haas completing back-to-back victories.

The logic behind backing Haas does make sense though as this is very much a tournament where previous course and distance form comes to the fore.

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The Riviera is regarded as one of the best golf courses in the world. It is a very exciting course to watch players play at due to the risk-reward aspect to a lot of the par4’s.

Three of the holes all are reachable from the tees for most of the players on Tour and plenty of birdies and eagles are expected to be gobbled up by the strongest players.

Unsurprisingly, driving power is key to any punter when assessing the players undertaking the test in Chicago. There are no water hazards throughout the course, which tends to make it easier for the longer hitters to get away with wayward driving as there are no hazards to quell their momentum. It is a course that if a player gets into a rhythm, he can post a really low total.

Scores of 61 and 60 can be achieved quite easily by the top players when they’re in top form.

Last week’s gamble on Phil Mickleson to win at Pebble Beach went astray as he could only finish 60th. That hasn’t dimmed the faith in Mickelson though from punting quarters, as he once again leads the market this week due to his brilliant course form at this track. He is a two-time winner of the Northern Open with back-to-back wins in 2008 and 2009.

Last week he was a clear favourite in the market and started the tournament around the 6/1 mark but due to the strength in depth in terms of the opposition this week he leads the markets at 12/1 with BetVictor.

Although, Mickelson still is clear favourite here, with the next best in the market being Sergio Garcia at 20/1 with Bet365.

He is among a contingent of players, which include Donald, Dustin Johnson and Scott, around the 20/1 mark, but the one that really takes out fancy at a 25/1 poke is big-hitter Bubba Watson.

The management at the course has decided to install some really harsh rough in recent years and keeping your ball in play is a very wise tactic. This means big-hitters such as Watson, who skipped last week at Pebble Beach especially to focus on this event.

He has looked in good shape this year and his driving accuracy stats are very impressive considering his attacking nature.

His all-round game was also impressive when finishing tied fourth in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January.

Previous Riviera champion Charles Howell III also should be of interest to punters who like playing the bigger prices. The 50/1 shot with Bet365 won this event back in 2007 when he beat Mickelson in a nail-biting play-off.

His form in 2013 has already surpassed his performances in 2012 with three top-10 finishes to his name, including a close third in the Sony Open.

Howell relishes the surroundings in Chicago, and although he missed the cut last year, he can be relied on at 50/1 to make a challenge.


Over 10 years in football analysis and online publishing with articles featured in a number of different publications.

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