Expert picks: Northern Trust Open

Graham DeLaet will seek the first win of his PGA Tour career at the 2014 Northern Trust Open on a Riviera course that can suit his style of play (shown here during the Phoenix Open).

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Naturally three-time 2013-14 PGA Tour winner Jimmy Walker is getting plenty of talk amid picks for this week's Northern Trust Open, while Canada's Graham DeLaet is a popular choice to break through with his first career win.

Riviera also has notable names such as Dustin Johnson, Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan in the mix, not to mention Joost Luiten, Pat Perez and Jordan Spieth.

Where do they all fit in? Take a look at this week's picks:

• • •

Jeff Rude, senior writer

Favorite: Graham DeLaet

Keep an eye on: Jimmy Walker

Don't forget about: Dustin Johnson

Sleeper: Pat Perez

Comments: DeLaet is hot and due to win and playing on a Riviera track suited for a top ball-striker like him. He has four consecutive top-7 finishes, including T-2 in San Diego and Phoenix in his last two events. . . . Johnson has four consecutive top-6 finishes on the PGA Tour, dating to last season, including T-2 Sunday at Pebble Beach. . . . Pebble winner Walker going for his fourth victory of season and firing on all cylinders. . . . Perez 11th or better in four of his last five starts.

• • •

Jim McCabe, senior writer

Favorite: Bill Haas

Keep an eye on: Pat Perez

Don't forget about: Hunter Mahan

Sleeper: Joost Luiten

Comments: Have to love the way Haas has played “the Riv” last three years – T-12, win, T-3 – and Mahan let a chance to win Pebble slip away, so here’s a guess he rebounds nicely. . . . Perez? Rock solid thus far in 2013-14. . . . Luiten in four starts in Europe has gone T-16, T-3, sixth, T-23 – and besides, there’s no history of golfers from The Netherlands struggling at Riviera, is there?

• • •

Adam Schupak, senior writer

Winner: Hunter Mahan

Keep an eye on: Charles Howell III, Graham DeLaet

Don't forget about: Bill Haas, Jordan Spieth

Sleeper: Ryo Ishikawa, Bryce Molder

Comments: Mahan should've won this tournament last year before stumbling down the stretch to finish T-8. He's red-hot off strong finishes at Pebble and Phoenix. Mahan is a SoCal kid and could follow in John Merrick's footsteps with an L.A. story. . . . Haas won at Riviera in 2012 and held the 54-hole lead last year. Hard to believe that seven years have passed without a victory since CH3 won here in 2007. He's a top-10 machine this year with five. . . . Molder has made 11 straight cuts, including a T-10 last week, and finished T-17 and T-21 the past two years at Riviera.

• • •

Lance Ringler, senior writer

Favorite: Jimmy Walker

Don’t forget about: Dustin Johnson

Keep an eye on: Hideki Matsuyama

Sleeper: Kevin Streelman

Comments: With three wins in last eight starts Jimmy Walker is the hot pick. How can you not pick Walker if you have the opportunity? Walker has three top 16s in last three starts at Riviera to go along with his recent form. . . . Dustin Johnson has missed two cuts in his last five starts, but also has three top 10s. Johnson was second last week at Pebble. . . . Hideki Matsuyama continues to play well with seven top-10s in his last 16 starts worldwide.

• • •

Nick Masuda, digital director

Winner: Graham DeLaet

Keep an eye on: Pat Perez

Don't forget about: Hunter Mahan

Sleeper: Max Homa

Comments: Graham DeLaet is 2-for-2 in cuts made at Riviera and has four top-7s in four PGA Tour tournaments to start the year. Good enough for me. . . . Mahan has hovered the past two weeks on Tour and is a fairway machine for the most part. That'll always keep you in the hunt. . . . Perez might be a hot-head, but he's also on fire right now. Has to be on my list this week. . . . I went with Homa last week and didn't end well. He's now home and going to go with the Cal product again.

• • •

The Northern Trust Open field, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings

  • 5. Matt Kuchar
  • 7. Justin Rose
  • 8. Webb Simpson
  • 10. Hideki Matsuyama
  • 11. Charl Schwartzel
  • 14. Graham DeLaet
  • 15. Jim Furyk
  • 16. Bubba Watson
  • 17. Hunter Mahan
  • 18. Lee Westwood
  • 19. Harris English
  • 20. Jordan Spieth
  • 21. Keegan Bradley
  • 23. Brendon Todd
  • 24. Bill Haas
  • 25. Jason Dufner
  • 26. Dustin Johnson
  • 28. Charley Hoffman
  • 30. K.J. Choi
  • 31. Charles Howell III
  • 32. Ian Poulter
  • 33. Jimmy Walker
  • 34. Joost Luiten
  • 37. Matt Jones
  • 39. Brendon de Jonge
  • 43. Ryan Moore
  • 47. Victor Dubuisson
  • 49. Rickie Fowler
  • 51. Russell Knox
  • 52. Pat Perez
  • 53. Marc Leishman
  • 54. Stewart Cink
  • 58. Kevin Streelman
  • 59. Freddie Jacobson
  • 60. Justin Leonard
  • 61. Brian Davis
  • 63. Stuart Appleby
  • 65. Ernie Els
  • 67. John Merrick
  • 68. Michael Putnam
  • 69. Kevin Stadler
  • 73. George McNeill
  • 74. John Peterson
  • 75. Bryce Molder
  • 78. Martin Laird
  • 80. Francesco Molinari
  • 82. Jason Kokrak
  • 83. Kevin Chappell
  • 86. Angel Cabrera
  • 87. Daniel Summerhays
  • 89. Will MacKenzie
  • 93. Morgan Hoffmann
  • 95. David Hearn
  • 97. James Driscoll
  • 99. Matt Every
  • 101. Kevin Na
  • 102 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
  • 103. Bo Van Pelt
  • 104. Louis Oosthuizen
  • 105. Cameron Tringale
  • 107. Josh Teater
  • 109. John Senden
  • 110. Nicolas Colsaerts
  • 112. David Lynn
  • 113. Ryo Ishikawa
  • 115. RichardH. Lee
  • 117. Spencer Levin
  • 121. Tim Wilkinson
  • 124. Robert Garrigus
  • 125. Brendan Steele
  • 128. Justin Hicks
  • 134. Carl Pettersson
  • 137. Russell Henley
  • 140. Brian Stuard
  • 143. Luke Guthrie
  • 149. Martin Flores
  • 150. John Huh
  • 151. Scott Brown
  • 155. Brian Gay
  • 157. Ben Crane
  • 160. J.J. Henry
  • 163. Ken Duke
  • 166. Andres Romero
  • 169. Erik Compton
  • 171. Retief Goosen
  • 172. William McGirt
  • 175. Scott Piercy
  • 176. Greg Chalmers
  • 180. Sang-Moon Bae
  • 184. Nicholas Thompson
  • 185. Brian Harman
  • 187. David Lingmerth
  • 190. Chesson Hadley
  • 196. Padraig Harrington
  • 197. Vijay Singh
  • 200. Y.E. Yang
  • 204. D.H. Lee
  • 212. Scott Stallings
  • 215. Davis Love III
  • 220. Geoff Ogilvy
  • 224. Charlie Wi
  • 227. John Rollins
  • 240. Kyle Stanley
  • 249. Thorbjorn Olesen
  • 253. David Toms
  • 259. Ted Potter, Jr.
  • 271. Steven Bowditch
  • 280. Ben Curtis
  • 286. Trevor Immelman
  • 294. Scott Langley
  • 299. Hudson Swafford
  • 312. Ricky Barnes
  • 322. Aaron Baddeley
  • 327. Charlie Beljan
  • 340. Darren Clarke
  • 342. Jeff Maggert
  • 347. James Hahn
  • 382. Troy Matteson
  • 391. Tommy Gainey
  • 392. Johnson Wagner
  • 402. Robert Allenby
  • 404. Jim Renner
  • 410. Lucas Glover
  • 425. Jonathan Byrd
  • 436. Mike Weir
  • 455. Woody Austin
  • 574. Derek Ernst
  • 591. Paul Goydos
  • 646. Scott Verplank
  • N/R. Blake Adams
  • N/R. Briny Baird
  • N/R. Fred Couples
  • N/R. Fred Funk
  • N/R. Steve Holmes
  • N/R. Harold Varner III
  • N/R. Max Homa
  • N/R. Jhonattan Vegas
  • N/R. Harrison Frazar
  • N/R. J.B. Holmes
  • N/R. John Mallinger
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