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PGA - Northern Trust Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, February 4th through Sunday, February 7th
SITE: Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California
COURSE ARCHITECT: George C. Thomas Jr. and William P. Bell (1926),
         Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw (1994), Tom Fazio (2001)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 7,325
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 503 Yds10 - Par 4 315 Yds
2 - Par 4 463 Yds11 - Par 5 583 Yds
3 - Par 4 434 Yds12 - Par 4 479 Yds
4 - Par 3 236 Yds13 - Par 4 459 Yds
5 - Par 4 434 Yds14 - Par 3 176 Yds
6 - Par 3 199 Yds15 - Par 4 487 Yds
7 - Par 4 408 Yds16 - Par 3 166 Yds
8 - Par 4 460 Yds17 - Par 5 590 Yds
9 - Par 4 458 Yds18 - Par 4 475 Yds
35 3,595 Yds36 3,730 Yds
Annual:  84th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 5-8 p.m. (et),
  - Thursday/Friday -- 10:30 p.m.-1:30 am (et) - replay
  NBC - Saturday -- 3-6 p.m. (et),
  - Sunday -- 2:30-6 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Phil Mickelson
Runner-Up:  Steve Stricker
Tournament Record:  264 (Lanny Wadkins, 1985)
54-Hole Record:  196 (Mike Weir, 2004)
36-Hole Record:  130 (Davis Love III, 1992; Mike Weir, Shigeki Maruyama, 2004)
Course Record:  61 (Ted Tryba, 1999)
18-Hole Record:  61 (George Archer, 1983 - Rancho Municipal GC)
9-Hole Record:  28 (Andrew Magee, 1991)
Total Purse:  $6,400,000
Shares:  1st Place - $1,152,000; 2nd Place - $691,200; 3rd Place - $435,200
2009 Finish
Phil Mickelson269Mark Calcavecchia272
Steve Stricker270Luke Donald272
K.J. Choi271J.B. Holmes272
Fred Couples271Rory Sabbatini272
Andres Romero271Three players at273
Past Northern Trust Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009Phil Mickelson (269) -- Steve Stricker
2008Phil Mickelson (272) -- Jeff Quinney
2007*Charles Howell III (268) -- Phil Mickelson
2006Rory Sabbatini (271) -- Adam Scott
2005#*Adam Scott (133) -- Chad Campbell
2004Mike Weir (267) -- Shigeki Maruyama
2003*Mike Weir (275) -- Charles Howell III
2002Len Mattiace (269) -- Brad Faxon, Scott McCarron, Rory Sabbatini
2001*Robert Allenby (276) -- Brandel Chamblee, Toshimitsu Izawa, Bob Tway,
Dennis Paulson, Jeff Sluman
2000Kirk Triplett (272) -- Jesper Parnevik
1999Ernie Els (270) -- Ted Tryba, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III
1998*Billy Mayfair (272) -- Tiger Woods
1997Nick Faldo (272) -- Craig Stadler
1996Craig Stadler (278) -- Mark Brooks, Fred Couples, Scott Simpson,
Mark Wiebe
1995Corey Pavin (268) -- Jay Don Blake, Kenny Perry
1994Corey Pavin (271) -- Fred Couples
1993#Tom Kite (206) -- Dave Barr, Fred Couples, Donnie Hammond,
Payne Stewart
1992*Fred Couples (269) -- Davis Love III
1991Ted Schulz (272) -- Jeff Sluman
1990Fred Couples (266) -- Gil Morgan
1989Mark Calcavecchia (272) -- Sandy Lyle
1988Chip Beck (267) -- Mac O'Grady, Bill Sander
1987*Tze-Chung Chen (275) -- Ben Crenshaw
1986Doug Tewell (270) -- Clarence Rose
1985Lanny Wadkins (264) -- Hal Sutton
1984David Edwards (279) -- Jack Renner
1983Gil Morgan (270) -- Gibby Gilbert, Mark McCumber, Lanny Wadkins
1982*Tom Watson (271) -- Johnny Miller
1981Johnny Miller (270) -- Tom Weiskopf
1980Tom Watson (276) -- Bob Gilder, Don January
1979Lanny Wadkins (276) -- Lon Hinkle
1978Gil Morgan (278) -- Jack Nicklaus
1977Tom Purtzer (273) -- Lanny Wadkins
1976Hale Irwin (272) -- Tom Watson
1975Pat Fitzsimons (275) -- Tom Kite
1974Dave Stockton (276) -- John Mahaffey, Sam Snead
1973Rod Funseth (276) -- Don Bies, David Graham, Dave Hill, Tom Weiskopf
1972*George Archer (270) -- Tommy Aaron, Dave Hill
1971*Bob Lunn (274) -- Billy Casper
1970*Billy Casper (276) -- Hale Irwin
1969*Charles Sifford (276) -- Harold Henning
1968Billy Casper (274) -- Arnold Palmer
1967Arnold Palmer (269) -- Gay Brewer
1966Arnold Palmer (273) -- Miller Barber, Paul Harney
1965Paul Harney (276) -- Dan Sikes
1964Paul Harney (280) -- Bobby Nichols
1963Arnold Palmer (274) -- Al Balding, Gary Player
1962Phil Rodgers (268) -- Bob Goalby, Fred Hawkins
1961Bob Goalby (275) -- Eric Brown, Art Wall
1960Dow Finsterwald (280) -- Bill Collins, Jay Hebert, Dave Ragan
1959Ken Venturi (278) -- Art Wall
1958Frank Stranahan (275) -- E.J. Harrison
1957Doug Ford (280) -- Jay Hebert
1956Lloyd Mangrum (272) -- Jerry Barber
1955Gene Littler (276) -- Ted Kroll
1954Fred Wampler (281) -- Jerry Barber, Chick Harbert
1953Lloyd Mangrum (280) -- Jack Burke Jr
1952*Tommy Bolt (289) -- Jack Burke Jr
1951Lloyd Mangrum (280) -- Henry Ransom
1950*Sam Snead (280) -- Ben Hogan
1949Lloyd Mangrum (284) -- E.J. Harrison
1948Ben Hogan (275) -- Lloyd Mangrum
1947Ben Hogan (280) -- Tony Penna
1946Byron Nelson (284) -- Ben Hogan
1945Sam Snead (283) -- Harold McSpaden, Byron Nelson
1944Harold McSpaden (278) -- Johnny Bulla
1943Not held due to World War II
1942*Ben Hogan (282) -- Jimmy Thomson
1941Johnny Bulla (281) -- Craig Wood
1940Lawson Little (282) -- Clayton Heafner
1939Jimmy Demaret (274) -- Harold McSpaden
1938Jimmy Thomson (273) -- Johnny Revolta
1937Harry Cooper (274) -- Ralph Guldahl, Horton Smith
1936Jimmy Hines (280) -- Henry Picard, Jimmy Thomson
1935*Vic Ghezzi (285) -- Johnny Revolta
1934Mac Smith (280) -- Willie Hunter, Bill Mehlhorn
1933Craig Wood (281) -- Leo Diegel, Willie Hunter
1932Mac Smith (281) -- Leo Diegel, Olin Dutra, Joe Kirkwood Sr, Dick Metz
1931Ed Dudley (285) -- Al Espinosa, Eddie Loos
1930Densmore Shute (296) -- Bobby Cruickshank, Horton Smith
1929Mac Smith (285) -- Tommy Armour
1928Mac Smith (284) -- Harry Cooper
1927Bobby Cruickshank (282) -- Ed Dudley, Charles Guest
1926Harry Cooper (279) -- George Von Elm

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

Note:Formerly called Nissan Open (1995-2007), Nissan Los Angeles Open
(1989-94), Los Angeles Open presented by Nissan (1987-88), Los Angeles Open (1926-70, 84-86), Glen Campbell Los Angeles Open (1971-83).

Top Contenders in the Field
Phil Mickelson---mc---------------2ndWonWon
Steve Stricker---------T-42mc---------T-112nd
K.J. Choi---T-33T-70T-5T-65T-29T-30T-22T-7T-3
Fred CouplesT-5mcT-97thT-59T-374th---T-31T-3
Andres Romero------------------------mcT-3
Luke Donald------mcmcT-67T-13T-12mcT-3T-6
J.B. Holmes------------------T-51---T-7T-6
Rory SabbatiniT-12T-66T-2mcT-15mcWonT-9T-44T-6
Dustin Johnson------------------------T-59T-10
Angel Cabrera---------T-17mcT-22T-45mcT-31T-13
Robert AllenbyT-43WonT-37T-42T-15T-7mcT-3T-7T-17
Jeff Quinney---------------------T-92ndT-25
Jim FurykT-37---T-37T-32---T-58T-12T-3mcT-41
Aaron Baddeley---------T-28T-32T-7T-51T-13T-46T-51
Ernie ElsT-66---------------T-23T-3---T-51
Ryuji Imada---------------mcmcT-65T-5T-59
Charles Howell III------T-62nd73rdT-47T-51WonT-55T-59
Scott VerplankT-37T-33T-19T-42---T-58T-51T-44T-5T-64
Stuart ApplebyT-18---mcmc3rdT-58T-51T-69T-7T-64
Mike Weirmcmc---WonWonT-37T-39T-22mcT-72
Padraig Harrington---------------------7thT-3mc
Vijay SinghT-18---T-34---T-24------T-29T-36mc
Brandt Snedeker------------------------mcmc
Ben Crane------T-63T-69T-59------mcT-55wd
Adam Scott---------------Won2ndT-69T-14---
Anthony Kim---------------------T-9mc---
Justin Rose------------T-59T-58T-39T-62mc---
Stewart CinkT-5T-20T-37T-17T-32---T-45T-33------
Marc Leishman------------------------------
Michael Sim------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Robert Allenby
Darkhorse - Alex Prugh
Last Week's Pick to Win (Phil Mickelson) - Finished 19th
Last Week's Darkhorse (John Rollins) - Finished tied for 20th
The PGA Tour travels to Pacific Palisades, California, this week and famed Riviera Country Club, as the tour's best battle it out at "Hogan's Alley." Ben Hogan dominated this event in the 1940s, winning three times and finishing second once. An outstanding field will be competing this week, with 13 of the top-30 players in the world expected to participate, including four of the top-eight: two-time defending champion Phil Mickelson (2), Steve Stricker (3), Jim Furyk (5) and Padraig Harrington (8).

With 11 career starts -- two as an amateur -- world No. 1 Tiger Woods has played this event more times without a victory than any other PGA Tour event. He has not played it since 2006, when he withdrew after two rounds because of the flu. In 1992, a then-16-year-old Woods shot a 72-75 to miss the cut in his first PGA Tour start after receiving a sponsor's exemption.

Nine former champions of this event are in the field this week: Fred Couples (1990, 92), Corey Pavin (1994-95), Ernie Els (1999), Robert Allenby (2001), Mike Weir (2003-04), Adam Scott (2005), Rory Sabbatini (2006), Charles Howell III (2007) and Mickelson (2008-09). The purse was increased $100,000 from last year to $6.4 million, with the winner receiving $1,152,000.

Ryo Ishikawa, the 18-year-old star from Japan, will make his PGA Tour season debut this week. Ishikawa, who is currently ranked 31st in the world, won his Japan Golf Tour debut in 2007 as an amateur at 15 years old. He became the youngest-ever player to break into the top-100 of the world rankings in 2008 and the youngest-ever to break into the top-50 in 2009. Ishikawa missed the cut at this tournament last year in his first PGA Tour event.

Last year, Mickelson needed a pair of birdies late in the final round to rally and beat Stricker at this event. Mickelson shot rounds of 63-72-62-72 to finish at 15-under-par 269 and win by one stroke. Mickelson stuck his tee shot on the par-three 16th within five feet and sank the putt to gain a share of the lead. He made it two in a row with a two-putt birdie on the par-five 17th. Heading to the last with a one-stroke lead, Mickelson found the fairway off the tee, but his approach stopped over 60 feet from the hole. He rolled a putt to six feet and calmly sank the par-saver for the title. Stricker bogeyed the 18th hole playing two groups ahead of Mickelson to end one stroke back.

With his victory last year, Mickelson became the seventh player to win this event two straight years. Macdonald Smith (1928-29), Hogan (1947-48), Paul Harney (1964-65), Arnold Palmer (1966-67), Pavin (1994-95) and Weir (2003-04) are the only other players to accomplish that feat. Mickelson is the all-time money leader with $2,874,725 in earnings. Weir is second with $1,772,759 in earnings. Couples has won this event twice and finished second three times. Overall, Couples has 13 top-10s in 27 appearances at this event.

In 2008, Mickelson finally won at Riviera Country Club, but it certainly was not easy. Trailing by a stroke with the back nine to go in the final round, Mickelson took advantage of several mistakes by Jeff Quinney to post a two- shot victory. Mickelson finished at 12-under-par 272 following rounds of 68-64-70-70. Quinney had the longest active streak on the PGA Tour without a three-putt, but snapped it en route to a bogey at 13 in the final round. Then he three-putted the 14th for a bogey. Quinney bogeyed 15 and 17 as well to give Mickelson a commanding edge on the 18th tee. Quinney finished strong with a birdie at 18 and posted an even-par 71 to come in at minus-10.

The win in 2008 was Mickelson's first at Riviera in his 10th appearance. He became the third player to win all four of the current stops in California on the PGA Tour, joining fellow California natives Billy Casper and Johnny Miller. Those events are the Farmers Insurance Open, the Bob Hope Classic, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the Northern Trust Open.

In 2007, Charles Howell III got up and down for par on the third playoff hole to defeat Mickelson. It was Howell's second PGA Tour title, having previously won the 2002 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill.

In 2006, Sabbatini fired a second-round 65 to lead by four strokes and never looked back. Sabbatini struggled to a one-over 72 in the final round to finish at 13-under-par 271. He became the first player to win this event with an over-par final round since Tom Purtzer shot a 72 in 1977.

Back in 2005, Scott posted a par on the first playoff hole to win the weather- shortened Northern Trust Open over Chad Campbell. The third round had begun Sunday afternoon, but more rain Sunday night into Monday rendered the course unplayable and the tournament was officially shortened to 36 holes. It was the first time in Northern Trust Open history that the event was shortened to 36 holes. In the first 78 years of the tournament, only in 1993 had the event played less than the scheduled 72 holes. That year, Tom Kite won a five-way playoff after 54 holes. The last PGA Tour event that only went 36 holes was the 1996 Buick Challenge, won by Michael Bradley.

Riviera has hosted this event 47 times, including all but two years since 1973. The Northern Trust Open gave Jack Nicklaus an exemption in 1962 when he picked up his first professional check. Surprisingly, this is one of the few events that Nicklaus never won. There have been 16 playoffs in the event's history, including five since 1998.

Legendary athlete Babe Didrickson Zaharias became the first woman ever to play in a professional men's golf tournament in the 1938 Los Angeles Open. She shot rounds of 84 and 81 and failed to make the cut at Griffith Park. That was also the year Jimmy Thomson won the tournament using a second-hand putter he had purchased for $1 in a Pasadena pro shop three weeks earlier.

This week will be the 84th staging of this event. Outside of the major championships, this is the fourth-oldest tournament on the PGA Tour. Only the BMW Championship, Canadian Open and Texas Open are older.

The PGA Tour remains in California next week for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where Dustin Johnson won last year.

02/02 15:13:18 ET

As of February 2, 2010, at 03:13 PM ET
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