The Farmers Insurance Open | 28 January – 31 January | Torrey Pines North and South
This week the PGA Tour really kicks off with an impressive field heading to Torrey Pines North and South for the Farmers Insurance Open. Although Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy will be sitting this one out, it seems like everyone else will be competing and the field is the strongest we’ve seen all year, which is fitting in an event that has always proved to be tough.
The tournament is played across two courses and whilst Torrey Pines North measures a paltry 7,040 yards, the tough South Course measures a monstrous 7,690 yards. Considering that the North course is considerably easier than the South course, it will only be played on the first two days and on Saturday and Sunday the action will shift exclusively to the South Course. Given the distance, it is obvious that driving distance will be key here but there are a number of other stats to keep an eye on. Draining long putts will go a long way in keeping up with the leaders, so putting outside 15 feet is key, as is par 3 ability because this is where tournaments can be won or lost. Hit the water and your round is as good as done, but make one of the few birdies on these shorter holes and you’re looking good for a solid finish.
Overall this promises to be a real test of golfing ability and the toughest tournament of the year. Let’s see who walks away the winner.
Jason Day: 7/1
Rickie Fowler: 10/1
Dustin Johnson: 14/1
Brandt Snedeker: 18/1
Justin Rose: 18/1
Dustin Johnson (14/1 a win & 31/10 a place)
Dustin Johnson ticks a lot of boxes this week and promises to be one to keep an eye on. He has the technical ability to go low on the easier North course but it is on the South course that he should come into his own. He thrives on these longer layouts and rarely misses the fairway when he is in form and once on the green his putting can be outstanding. I say can be because on the odd occasion the putter does go cold but he’s always done well here and I think that will continue this week. Overall Johnson is a good bet this week and I can’t leave him out. Each way is the bet for me.
J.B. Holmes (45/1 a win & 99/10 a place)
J.B. Holmes excelled on the South course this time last year and for that reason, I’ll be having an each way bet on him this time around. He’s never been the longest hitter but he knows how to scramble it was largely thanks to that ability that he made it to a playoff last time around. Holmes also knows how to take advantage of the par 5’s and loves these greens. If Holmes plays the South Course this time out in the same way he played last year he could well finish inside the Top 5. Don’t miss out what seems like a huge price.
Tony Finau (100/1 a win & 22/1 a place)
I kept a close eye on Finau last week in the hope that he produced something that would make him an obvious bet this week but despite a few decent shots, he really didn’t produce much. Last year he did seem to enjoy the South course on his way to a Top 25 finish though, and that was largely thanks to his huge drives and the birdies he made on the par 5’s. He’s still hitting the ball as long as he always has and for that reason, I’ll be backing him each way. You should too.
Patrick Reed (18/1 a win &4/1 a place)
A poor first round got Reed off to a weak start last week and after being priced up at 8/1 in that tournament, he is now available at 18/1. The discrepancy in those prices is reason enough to back him but given that he has what it takes to shoot in the low sixties on the North course and remain competitive on the South course, he is definitely worth an each way bet. Reed is one of the best putters on the Tour and that should stand him in good stead on a course that demands solid play with the short stick. Back him each way