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Brent Kelley

This Week: Northern Trust Open, LPGA Opener

By February 11, 2013

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The PGA Tour heads to Riviera Country Club this week for the Northern Trust Open. And the field is outstanding, even though two major pieces are missing: Tiger Woods and Brandt Snedeker.

Snedeker won last week's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. In five starts so far in 2013, Snedeker has finished in the Top 3 in four of them. That's called being on a roll. Alas, his roll didn't take him to Riviera.

But no worries, the field is stout. Luke Donald finally decided to get his 2013 season under way. Bill Haas is the defending champion, beating Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley in a playoff last year. All three are back.

Others in the field include Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, Ryo Ishikawa, Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan, Lee Westwood, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Charl Schwartzel and Bubba Watson. Should be a good one this week.

Meanwhile, the LPGA Tour finally tees off its 2013 season with the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open. The defending champ is Jessica Korda.

Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel have decided to wait even longer before playing; they are skipping the event. But most of the other big names are playing, including Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Azahara Munoz, Jiyai Shin, Angela Stanford, Lexi Thompson, Yani Tseng, Karrie Webb and Michelle Wie.

Cheyenne Woods has a sponsor exemption. And 15-year-old amateur Lydia Ko will be a center of attention, coming off her third win in a pro event at last week's New Zealand Women's Open.

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