What is the profile for a winner at Rivera? Good question. Long hitters have won here; the short guys have done well too. Obviously GIR and ball striking are keys to winning at any PGA tournament, but the only real trend I’ve found with any meaning if form. Bill Haas won in 2012 was 4th at the Farmers and 19th at the Waste management before coming in and winning (didn’t play at Pebble). John Merrick won in 2013 he was 3/3 in cuts made and 19th at the Waste Management before winning (didn’t play at Pebble). Aaron Baddeley won in 2011 he was 37th at the Waste Management and 6th at Pebble the week before.
I’m looking for guys who have played well this year. It’s that simple. The last few years the guys who have won or contended weren’t really big names, or may not have a lot of victories under their belts, but just solid every day pros who were on a good West Coast swing.
Last week: I had 3 guys in the top 10 but didn’t have the winner. I’m going to track my gambling profits this year with units.
Graham DeLaet (20-1) – I really can’t bet against this guy right now because he’s been on fire. He’s 4th in driving distance, 6th in GIR, 5thin strokes gained putting, 2nd in scoring average, and 2nd in all around ranking. This guy is beyond due for a win. I worry slightly when a guy has hot as Graham takes a week off, but skipping the pro-am and the conditions at Pebble for a little r/r might be what he needs to get over the hump.
The bet: To win, 1 unit to win 20 units.
Jordan Speith (18-1) – Everyone knows this kid is going to be a star, but I really loved what I saw from Jordan last week at Pebble. On Saturday 3 putt 6 times to shoot a 78 on Saturday in some really tough conditions, but he battled back and shot 67 to finish t-4. I love that. I don’t think anyone will argue that this is going to be his breakout year. In a one-and-done league, I may hold him for one of the majors or WGC events, but I will absolutely put money on a win here.
The bet: To win: 1 unit to win 18 units.
Ryan Moore (30-1) – Ryan Moore fits the profile perfectly. First, he loves West Coast golf and has been playing well lately. He was 10that Kapalua and 6th at the Waste Management. He’s not the longest guy off the tee (134th in driving distance) but is 7th in driving accuracy and 4th in GIR. He also has had some success at this course going 4th, 17th, and 27th the last 3 years and has made 6 consecutive cuts here.
The bet: To win, 1 unit to win 30 units.
Hideki Matsuyama – This kid might be the most underrated golfer in the world right now. He finished a sneaky 4th place finish at the Waste Management after 16th at the Farmers. He’s made 4/5 cuts this year and the only reason it’s not 5/5 is because he withdrew form the HSBC back in October because of an injury. Basically, this kid can play golf. Last year, he played 6 events (including 3 majors) and was 6 for 6 in cuts and finished inside the top 21 in EVERY event. You want to talk stats? Ok, he’s 6th in driving distance, 13th in strokes gained putting, 6th in scoring average, 21st in all around, and 5th in scrambling.
The Bet: WIN: 1 Unit to Win 30.
Cameron Tringale – He’s another guy who fits the profile nicely. He finished 12th last weekend at Pebble after a 13th finish at the Waste Management. The last few years he’s played Riviera well, finishing 21st, 24th, and last year 21st and there’s no question this has been his best start to a season in his career. He’s a L.A. kid so there might be a home cooking element to his success here, but I feel like he’s due.
The Bet: No Line.
Matt Jones (28/4) – Ok, you guys are going to think I’m crazy but I noticed a little trend a Rivera that involves no stat or science: Australians play well here. I don’t know why, but they do. So, if you ignore Jones’ T12 at the Waste Management or the fact that he’s 4/4 in cuts so far in 2014, or even his 4th ranking in total driving, I like him because he is an Aussie. Last year, Greg Chalmers and Adam Scott here top 10. In 2012, Jarrod Lyle finished t-4 and there were 4 total Aussies in the top 20. Aussie Aaron Baddeley won this tourney in 2011 and Robert Allenby finished t-4 while a total of 5 of them finished in the top 25.
The Bet: Top 10, 1 Unit to win 7.25 units.