Northern Trust Open Tips: A quartet of three-ball bets for day one at Riviera

Fred Couples knows how to plot his way around Riviera
Fred Couples knows how to plot his way around Riviera

Riviera has been holding events on the PGA Tour for more than 40 years and, with all that form to go on, Dan Geraghty makes four picks on the opening day of the Northern Trust Open...

"Former champion Couples has 54 rounds here under his belt with a superb scoring average of 69.93."

Back Fred Couples @ 4.47/2 


It was business as usual for Jim Furyk last week when he started his year with a respectable 35th place finish in the AT&T National Pro AM. Furyk had started the two previous years with similar performances in the AT&T before finishing 11th and 13th respectively in the Northern Trust Open. Expect a similar performance this week from gentleman Jim, who looks overpriced to beat favourite Dustin Johnson, who missed the cut last year after a first round 76 and Justin Rose, who is making his first start of the season, owing to a shoulder injury that could yet keep him out of next week's matchplay.

He may have missed his last two cuts at Riviera but Charles Howell III still has comfortably the best scoring average of his playing partners at the course. Howell has been in scintillating form this season and looks a nice price to come out on top in an exciting looking three-ball comprising fellow Americans Ryan Moore and Rickie Fowler. 

Fred Couples finds himself in a three-ball with two of the most exciting young players on tour in Webb Simpson and Jordan Spieth. However, the youngsters have competed in just three tournaments at Riviera between them, while former champion Couples has 54 rounds here under his belt with a superb scoring average of 69.93. Couples finished second in his only appearance of the year thus far (on the Champions Tour) and his experience should count for plenty this week.

Three-ball favourite Charl Schwartzel looks opposable in a tough looking match-up with Harris English and Ernie Els. Schwartzel was third on his only outing at Riviera to date last year but has had a long trip from (a disappointing performance at) the Joburg Open. The South African's driving seems to have deteriorated somewhat over the past couple of years. At the prices I'll side with Riviera specialist Els, despite his lack of recent form. Paul Krishnamurty makes the case for messrs Couples and Els here.


Recommended Bets
Back Jim Furyk @ 3.412/5 
Back Charles Howell III @ 2.89/5 
Back Fred Couples @ 4.47/2 
Back Ernie Els @ 3.814/5 


*Follow me on twitter @dangeraghty10

Season P&L: -7.88pts (based on 1pt per selection)


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