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BlogFarmers Open Preview and Picks

Farmers Insurance Open

January 24th – 27th, 2019

Torrey Pines South Course

San Diego, CA

Par: 72 / Yardage:

Purse: $7.1 million

with $1,278,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Jason Day

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 50 of the top 100 in the latest Official World rankings with 24 of the top 50 players.  There are five players from the top-ten, #1 Justin Rose, #6 Xander Schauffele, #7 Jon Rahm, #8 Rory McIlroy and #10 Tony Finau. The other top 50 players are #11 Rickie Fowler, #12 Jason Day, #13 Tiger Woods, #15 Patrick Reed, #16 Marc Leishman, #17 Patrick Cantlay, #20 Jordan Spieth, #21 Alex Noren, #24 Gary Woodland, #28 Cameron Smith, #32 Keegan Bradley, #33 Hideki Matsuyama, #34 Kyle Stanley, #37 Billy Horschel, #38 Kiradech Aphibarnrat, #42 Adam Scott, #48 Brandt Snedeker, #49 Emiliano Grillo and #50 Satoshi Kodaira.

Last year 19 top-50 players were in the field.

The field includes 15 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2018.  Those players are #1 Justin Rose, #2 Tiger Woods, #5 Billy Horschel, #6 Tony Finau, #8 Keegan Bradley, #12 Cameron Smith, #13 Hideki Matsuyama, #13 Rory McIlroy, #15 Xander Schauffele, #16 Jason Day, #17 Rickie Fowler, #20 Patrick Cantlay, #22 Patrick Reed, #23 Jon Rahm and #24 Aaron Wise.

The field includes 15 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings from last year.  Those players are #1 Xander Schauffele, #3 Marc Leishman, #4 Gary Woodland, #5 Charles Howell III, #7 Kevin Tway, #9 Cameron Champ, #11 Patrick Cantlay, #12 Adam Long, #14 Danny Lee, #15 Brandt Snedeker, #16 Tony Finau, #17 Emiliano Grillo, #18 Patrick Rodgers, #23 Sam Ryder and #25 Abraham Ancer.

The field includes 7 past champions in the field (winning 15 Farmers titles) this week: Jason Day – 2018 & ’15, Jon Rahm 2017, Brandt Snedeker – 2016 & ’12, Scott Stallings – 2014,  Tiger Woods – 2013, ’08, ’07, ’06, ’05, ’03 & 1999, Ben Crane – 2010 and Nick Watney – 2009.

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Farmers Insurance Open field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Farmers Insurance Open in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Farmers Insurance Open.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Farmers Insurance Open

Player Desert Classic Sony Open Sentry T of C DP, Dubai RSM Classic Mayakoba Shriners Hospitals Turkish Airlines WGC-HSBC Champions Sanderson Farms Nine Bridges CIMB Classic Safeway Open
Marc Leishman
(224.67 pts)
DNP T3
(90)
T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T18
(10.67)
Win
(44)
DNP
Xander Schauffele
(202 pts)
DNP DNP Win
(132)
T16
(17)
DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP T48
(0.67)
25
(8.33)
DNP
Gary Woodland
(173 pts)
DNP 80
(0)
2
(100)
DNP DNP T41
(3)
T10
(13.33)
DNP DNP DNP 2
(33.33)
T5
(23.33)
DNP
Charles Howell III
(166 pts)
T34
(16)
T8
(50)
T14
(36)
DNP Win
(44)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T61
(0)
T5
(23.33)
DNP
Jon Rahm
(159.33 pts)
6
(60)
DNP T8
(50)
T4
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T22
(9.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Cameron Champ
(132 pts)
DNP T73
(0)
T11
(39)
DNP 6
(20)
T10
(13.33)
T28
(7.33)
DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP DNP T25
(8.33)
Patrick Reed
(130.33 pts)
DNP T13
(37)
T25
(25)
T2
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Adam Long
(115.33 pts)
Win
(132)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T63
(0)
Abraham Ancer
(112.67 pts)
T18
(32)
T29
(21)
DNP DNP DNP T21
(9.67)
T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP T73
(0)
T5
(23.33)
DNP
Sungjae Im
(111 pts)
T12
(38)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T15
(11.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T41
(3)
DNP T4
(26.67)
Patrick Cantlay
(107.67 pts)
T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(11)
Brandt Snedeker
(106.67 pts)
DNP T16
(34)
T22
(28)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP T36
(4.67)
T66
(0)
T2
(33.33)
Hudson Swafford
(105.33 pts)
T65
(0)
T3
(90)
DNP DNP T76
(0)
T55
(0)
T28
(7.33)
DNP DNP T26
(8)
DNP DNP T69
(0)
Dominic Bozzelli
(100.33 pts)
5
(70)
T33
(17)
DNP DNP T11
(13)
T48
(0.67)
T41
(3)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Rory McIlroy
(95 pts)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
T20
(15)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Justin Rose
(90 pts)
T34
(16)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
3
(30)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Tway
(89.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
DNP DNP DNP T52
(0)
T27
(7.67)
Win
(44)
J.T. Poston
(89.33 pts)
T7
(55)
T20
(30)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T21
(9.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP T46
(1.33)
Emiliano Grillo
(88 pts)
DNP T22
(28)
DNP DNP DNP 15
(11.67)
DNP DNP T14
(12)
DNP T55
(0)
T2
(33.33)
T41
(3)
Harold Varner III
(81.33 pts)
T18
(32)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
T6
(20)
T15
(11.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T14
(12)
Danny Willett
(80 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP Win
(66)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP DNP T23
(9)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Brice Garnett
(79 pts)
DNP T33
(17)
T19
(31)
DNP T37
(4.33)
5
(23.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T41
(3)
T39
(3.67)
DNP
Talor Gooch
(78.67 pts)
4
(80)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(12)
DNP DNP DNP
Keegan Bradley
(74.33 pts)
DNP T29
(21)
T27
(23)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 6
(20)
DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP
Jason Day
(73.33 pts)
DNP DNP 13
(37)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T11
(13)
DNP T5
(23.33)
DNP DNP
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
(63.83 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T9
(22.5)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP
J.J. Spaun
(62.33 pts)
T51
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
T3
(30)
T15
(11.67)
DNP DNP DNP T10
(13.33)
T72
(0)
T41
(3)
Dylan Frittelli
(57.83 pts)
T28
(22)
T51
(0)
DNP T7
(27.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP T25
(8.33)
Sam Ryder
(55.67 pts)
T40
(10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
54
(0)
3
(30)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T43
(2.33)
T4
(26.67)
Cameron Smith
(55.67 pts)
DNP T22
(28)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T54
(0)
DNP T7
(18.33)
T22
(9.33)
DNP
Danny Lee
(55.33 pts)
DNP 71
(0)
DNP DNP DNP 2
(33.33)
T41
(3)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T33
(5.67)
T10
(13.33)
Anders Albertson
(55 pts)
T34
(16)
DNP DNP DNP T15
(11.67)
T55
(0)
T28
(7.33)
DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Scott Langley
(54.33 pts)
T12
(38)
T43
(7)
DNP DNP T23
(9)
T29
(7)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T63
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Billy Horschel
(53.33 pts)
DNP DNP T25
(25)
DNP DNP T21
(9.67)
DNP DNP T11
(13)
DNP T67
(0)
T33
(5.67)
DNP
Russell Knox
(52.67 pts)
T18
(32)
T43
(7)
DNP T34
(8)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Farmers Insurance Open

Player Desert Classic Sony Open Sentry T of C DP, Dubai RSM Classic Mayakoba Shriners Hospitals Turkish Airlines WGC-HSBC Champions Sanderson Farms Nine Bridges CIMB Classic Safeway Open
John Chin
(-31.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Sangmoon Bae
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T59
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
John Huh
(-26.67 pts)
T70
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Sepp Straka
(-25.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T46
(1.33)
Chris Thompson
(-25 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Seamus Power
(-23 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP 19
(10.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Chris Kirk
(-21.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T46
(1.33)
T48
(0.67)
T41
(3)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Brandon Hagy
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Chris Stroud
(-18.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP WD
(-1.67)
T55
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Kyoung-Hoon Lee
(-18 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T29
(7)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T35
(5)
T61
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Another surprise winner:

Adam Long joins a long list of players, who we least expected to win.  Playing in just his sixth PGA Tour career start, Long went mano-a-mano with both Phil Mickelson and Adam Hadwin.  With a 13 foot putt on the 72nd hole, Long made birdie for the one shot win over Mickelson and Hadwin.  Since graduating from Duke in 2010, Long turned pro and has been struggling ever since.  He played on the just about every tour know to professional players, in 2012 he played in 17 Web.Com tour events, earning just under $30,000 to finish 127th for the year.  After that it was the eGolf Tour and then the Hooters Tour, on that tour he won an eventin South Carolina in 2011, winning $25,000.  But the struggled continued, in 2014 he played in 11 PGA Tour Canada events and 12 PGA Tour Latinoamerica events.  In Canada he did finish T-2nd in the Great Waterway Classic winning $13,000.  That help bridge him back to the Web.Com Tour where between 2015 and 2018 he played in 96 events, finishing 13th in the Web.Com Tour money list in 2018 which earned him a PGA Tour card for 2019.  But earning a PGA Tour card really didn’t mean much since he wasn’t guaranteed a whole lot.  He was able to finish T-63rd at the Safeway Open, but in three events after that he missed the cut in all three and was just happy to get into the Desert Classic.  Going into last week all Long wanted to do was to finish in the top-ten so that he could play in San Diego.  He did one better with his win at the Desert Classic and with the victory in his sixth PGA Tour start became the first player to win in his sixth try since Smylie Kaufman did it at the 2015 Shriners.

Now it will be interesting to see what happens to Long in the future.  For Smylie Kaufman things haven’t been that great, in 73 starts afterwards he could only muster up five top-tens since, the best being a T-5th in the 2017 Wells Fargo and a T-4th at the 2018 Sanderson Farms.  Now another surprise winner was Russell Henley who in his third PGA Tour start won the 2013 Sony Open in Hawaii.  Things have been good for him, he has won two other events on the PGA Tour and been in the top-100 of the FedExCup rankings every year so success can be found winning early.

For Long he will get to enjoy a lot of benefits like being exempt through 2021.  He also gets an invite to play in the Masters and next year’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, but the best part of things is that he can now map out the rest of the year and play the events he wants to play in.

Tiger is back:

We can experience Tiger-mania again and things are totally different than last year.  Last year when Tiger teed it up in San Diego there were a lot of question marks.  First if his back could hold up playing a regular schedule.  Second was trying to get into other WGC events, since Woods was 647th in the world rankings he didn’t have much momentum.  There was also the questions if he could win again and if he would still be a major draw.  All of those questions were a positive as Tiger won the Tour Championship and comes into San Diego 13th in the World Rankings.  The question now is if Tiger can win a major and if he can improve his good play from last year.  So his first test will be at Torrey, a course that he has won eight times on counting his 2008 U.S. Open victory.  Since winning the Farmers in 2013 Torrey hasn’t been very kind to him, in 4 starts and nine rounds he hasn’t broken 70 and has only broken par three times, two of them coming last year.  So we will see if Tiger can take it up to another level which will lead him to winning another major championship.  Talking about Tiger, this week he has all new TaylorMade irons along with a new Tilde M driver and 3 wood.  He also in some events will use a Talon M 5 wood.  So it will be interesting to see how he does with the new equipment.

New wear for Rickie:

Rickie Fowler is probably one of the brightest dressers in golf with all of the deep colors, something that makes him even more appealing for those under 35-year-olds.  Now Folwer will be even more stylish, where we can’t see it with his new underwear deal.  Fowler is set to wear 2UNDR performance underwear as their newest global ambassador.  The only thing I wonder, how does the maker of his underwear get any air-time?  Guess they just will have to hope he hits it into a lake and takes his pants off to hit the shot in his underwear, like Ian Baker-Finch did 20 years ago in Texas.

Underwear is not the only thing that Rickie is trying out this week, he will have a new ball, playing the TaylorMade TP5x ball.  It seemed that his contract with Titleist ran out and when he was playing in the Ryder Cup and partnered with Dustin Johnson, he started using the TaylorMade ball.  He liked it so much that he started playing with it after the Ryder Cup and left Titleist for TaylorMade, agreeing to a multi-year deal with TaylorMade.  It will be quite a change for Fowler who has played Titleist his entire career, but he feels very comfortable with the new ball.

No Phil

Hard to believe that after playing in 28 straight Farmers that Phil Mickelson decided not to play.  Makes sense, since winning three times between 1993 and 2001 the South Course was redone and Phil has never felt out home on the greens at Torrey.  He did finish runner-up in 2011 but since has not broken into the top-ten and decided with the new schedule, in which Mexico comes the week after L.A. that he needed a break.  He didn’t want to play in six straight and in his mind this was the tournament that he hadn’t played well in.  So despite living in the area he will be home on the coach watching the action from Torrey.

A different experience on the North Course

This will be the third year that players see the effects of the North Course getting a Tom Weiskopf redo.  He added almost 200 yards to the original yardage.  At the same time, the greens and fairways became broader and more prominent, and Weiskopf reduced the number of bunkers from 60 to 42.  He has given some of the holes a different feel like the old 16th hole which is now the 7th. He has shortened the par 4 to 322 yards and made it a potential drivable par 4.  He also took the old par 4 8th hole (is the 17th) and added 150 yards making it into a par 5 while shortening up a bit the old 9th hole (the 18th) and made it a tough par 4.

The players loved the change and said that Weiskopf did a fantastic job.  Scoring wise the course is about a stroke a round tougher than in the years before the modifications.  The important thing is that the course isn’t a lay-up and tournament officials won’t have to worry about players shooting sub-60 rounds on it.  So the change accomplished what it was supposed to do.

Course information:

  • Played at the two courses at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California
  • South Course (Home Course) – Par:  72 / Yardage: 7,698
  • North Course – Par: 72 / Yardage 7,258

In 2018 the South course was the 8th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 72.813 average.  The North Course was the 28th hardest course, playing to an average of 71.410

Both courses were designed by Billy Bell Jr. and opened in 1957.  In the 80s both courses were revamped with all new greens with the work done by the city.

The south course opened first on June 19th, 1957 with Paul Runyan, Ralph Duldahl, Olin Dutra and a local pro, Don Gollett the first to play it.  Five months later the North Course opened.  Hard to believe that since the courses opened over 58 years ago, over 14 million rounds have been played on both courses.

The two courses were the brainchild of Leo Calland, then director of San Diego’s park and recreation department. He pushed hard to change an old World War II camp into a golf course.  When he got permission, Bell came in and covered over the blacktop and could use the excess concrete to achieve rolling fairways on what was a flat site.  The lure of both courses after they opened was the views of the ocean on every hole.  Both courses sit atop of bluffs overlooking the Pacific, and these views were seen a couple of years later nationally when Challenge Golf filmed one of there matches with Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Sam Snead and Doug Sanders.

A decade later, the San Diego Open was looking around for a home.  Since the tournament was first played in 1952 it never really found a home.  It was played on several different courses, but in 1968 it would embark on a significant change.  It decided to copy several west coast tournaments by getting a headline celebrity to host the event getting Andy Williams who at the time was one of the biggest stars on television with a weekly show.  They also needed financial support and asked for the city for the use of Torrey Pines free of charge.  It was a match made in heaven.  The course proved very popular not only with the pros but the TV audience that watched it.

Since then Torrey Pines has been the home of the tournament, although every year rumblings were heard that it could be replaced with a TPC course. Those rumblings ended with the economic downturn in 2008.

After the 2001 Buick, the South course went through an extensive revamping process.  With the chance of getting the 2008 U.S. Open, $3.3 million was spent with Rees Jones adding a lot of length to the course.  Now, the course can stretch to 7,700 yards although the PGA Tour plays it below that figure.  Though Jones didn’t change the routing of the course he did redo all the bunkers and changed four holes moving greens on the third, fourth, fourteen, and fifteen holes.  With all the changes, it brought some bite back to a course which 30 years ago was considered very difficult by the touring professionals.  Average scores were up almost two shots compared to past years, and the winning score of 275 was along with two other years the highest winning score in 20 years.  The revamp proved such a big success with the players, media, and fans that the USGA gave the 2008 U.S. Open to Torrey Pines and that was such a big success that in 2021 the USGA would return the Open to Torrey.

The North Course was redone in 2016 and proved to be about a shot and a half easier than the South.  Still, in many people’s minds, the North is more scenic and more fun to play.

Let’s take a look at key stats that are important for those playing on the South Course at Torrey Pines:

This is based on the most important stats for Torrey Pines South Course, based on data from last years Farmers Insurance Open, and using data from all the players in the field for with stats from 2018 and 2019. What we do is take their rank for each stat and average that number between players rank in ’18 & ’19.
Event is played on two courses, so the data are only for the rounds played on the South Course, not the one round data from the North Course
The scoring average of the field on Torrey South Course in 2018 was 72.81 making it the 8th hardest course on the PGA Tour. Weather for the week played very little in the result, yes wind gusted up to 25 mph on Sunday, but that played very little in the outcome. In 2017 it was windy each day and the average was 72.77 making it the 14th hardest course on the PGA Tour. It was almost 2 shots easier than in 2016 when it was the 2nd hardest course on tour with a 74.50. In that year they had high winds so severe that they had to finish the round on Monday, so that is the reason for the change. 72.80 is about the norm, but overall the score of the tournament has gone up resulting from the changes made to the North Course, which holds a round during the week. Before the changes before the 2017 tournament, the North Course was always a layup, the average score was 70.50. But with the changes made, in 2017 the North Course played to a 71.28 average, 32nd hardest and last year it was 71.41 and T-28th hardest. So for the players, the North Course isn’t the layup they remembered it being.
Now, our course key is based on the South Course which last year played to a 72.81 average, 8th hardest on tour. The course lies on a bluff over the Pacific Ocean, and winds tend to play havoc, along with possible fog this time of year. So you have to factor weather in looking for a winner. This year the long-range forecast for the week is pretty favorable, Thursday will be perfect; rain on Friday and 15 mph winds will play a factor along with 17 mph winds on Saturday. For Sunday look for partly cloudy skies with winds around 9 mph. So the course will play over par again.

In looking at the stats for Torrey South last year, driving is essential. In windy, dry conditions in 2016, the course ranked 30th in driving distance and 14th in driving accuracy. In 2017 it ranked 11th in driving distance and 8th in driving accuracy. Last year it ranked 31st in driving distance but was the hardest course on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy as only 48.82% of the fairways were hit. So you think that you have to drive it straight to play well on the South Course? Not really, in looking at all the champions of the Farmers going back to 1997, only two were in the top-ten in driving accuracy. Phil Mickelson was T-7th in 2000 and Ben Crane was T-8th in 2010. But in looking at the driving distance it’s a different story. Of the 20 winners since 1999, 12 of them were in the top-ten as last year’s winner Jason Day was 2nd. Now, Day beat Ryan Palmer and Alex Noren in a playoff, for Noren he was T-26th in driving distance while T-18th in fairways hit. Palmer was 8th in driving distance and T-10th in accuracy. So our first category is Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green.
Another vital stat is proximity to the hole, both for those that hit the fairway, last year the field hit it an average of 39’7 inches to the hole making it the 8th hardest on tour. As for rough proximity, the course was 6th hardest with the field hitting it an average of 49′ 2 inches. So with hitting into the fairway and hitting it far, our second important stat is Strokes Gained Approach-the-Green. Last year’s winner Jason Day was 59th in this start as he was T-11th in greens hit. In looking at the last seven champions only one, Jason Day in 2015 was in the top-ten (was T-8th) in greens hit.
Our third category is putting inside 10 feet. Several factors have made Torrey Pines the hardest greens to make putts inside 10 feet for the third year in a row. The main reason that this stat is so extreme is the fact that the greens are Poa Annua and since it’s close to the ocean, the greens are hard to judge and tend to get bumpy, especially late in the afternoon. Last year Torrey Pines South was the the 5th hardest in making putts inside 10 feet, and it was the hardest in 2016 and ’17 Last year Day shined in this stat ranking 1st in the field making 49 of 51 tries for the week. As for the other players in the playoff, Ryan Palmer was T-20th making 49 of 55 attempts while Alex Noren was 36th making 52 of 60 putts. So we can see how Day got into the playoff.
Our last category is scrambling manly because of its history lot’s of greens are missed, and Torrey is very tough to get it up and down. Last year it was the 19th hardest but in previous years in 2017 it was the 5th hardest, the year before it was 2nd and over the course of the previous six years, the course had been in the top-ten in this stat every year. As for winner Day, he was T-17th in this stat on the 23 greens he missed he got up and down 15 times.

SO HERE ARE OUR FOUR CHOICES FOR THE MOST CRITICAL STATS FROM PLAYERS TO DO WELL AT TORREY PINES SOUTH:

*Strokes gained Tee-to-Green: It’s a combination of hitting it straight and hitting it far. Since Torrey is so long, you have to hit driver off of most tees. But the fairways are narrow, and the rough is hard if you get into it.

*Strokes Gained Approach-the-Green: It’s a combination of hitting the green from either the fairway or the rough.

*Putting inside 10 feet: This gauges how many putts a player makes inside ten feet. With Torrey having Poa Annua greens making all of these putts is essential and a challenge for players.

*Scrambling: The South Course is hard in this stat, before 2018 it was historically very high in this stat as it was in the top-ten on tour between 2011 and 2017..

147 of the 156 Players from this year’s field with stats from this year:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

Here is a like to the other 137 players with stats from this year.

Making our DraftKings picks

Of the 156 in the field, 121 have played at least once in the Farmers.

Here are the players with the most under par totals at the Farmers since 2010:

  • Brandt Snedeker is -60 under in 34 rounds playing 9 years
  • Charles Howell III is -54 under in 36 rounds playing 9 years
  • Marc Leishman is -46 under in 32 rounds playing 9 years
  • Bill Haas is -31 under in 30 rounds playing 8 years
  • Justin Rose is -31 under in 24 rounds playing 7 years
  • Jason Day is -30 under in 22 rounds playing 7 years
  • Keegan Bradley is -30 under in 28 rounds playing 8 years
  • J.B. Holmes is -28 under in 32 rounds playing 9 years
  • Nick Watney is -27 under in 32 rounds playing 9 years
  • Jimmy Walker is -23 under in 30 rounds playing 9 years
  • Rickie Fowler is -23 under in 28 rounds playing 9 years
  • Pat Perez is -22 under in 28 rounds playing 8 years

*Here are the ones with the best under par totals averaging it per years played (2 or more starts)

  • Jon Rahm is -15 under playing 2 years (-1.88)
  • Brandt Snedeker is -60 under playing 9 years (-1.76)
  • Ryan Palmer is -9 under playing 2 years (-1.50)
  • Charles Howell III is -54 under playing 9 years (-1.50)
  • Marc Leishman is -46 under playing 9 years (-1.44)
  • C.T. Pan is -11 under playing 2 years (-1.38)
  • J.J. Spaun is -11 under playing 2 years (-1.38)
  • Jason Day is -30 under playing 7 years (-1.36)
  • Justin Rose is -31 under playing 7 years (-1.29)
  • Keegan Bradley is -30 under playing 8 years (-1.07)
  • Tony Finau is -17 under playing 4 years (-1.06)
  • Bill Haas is -31 under playing 8 years (-1.03)
  • Richy Werenski is -6 under playing 2 years (-1.00)
  • J.B. Holmes is -28 under playing 9 years (-0.88)
  • Hideki Matsuyama is -14 under playing 5 years (-0.88)

Historical ParBreakers

Here is a look at those playing this week and who has made the most eagles and birdies:

So it makes sense that the top players on this list are guys that will make lot’s of points this week

DraftKings picks

*Here are the guys that are very costly:

  • Jon Rahm – $11,400
  • Rory McIlroy – $11,100
  • Justin Rose – $10,800
  • Tiger Woods – $10,500
  • Jason Day – $10,100
  • Tony Finau – $9,900
  • Marc Leishman – $9,700
  • Xander Schauffele – $9,400
  • Rickie Fowler – $9,300
  • Patrick Cantlay – $9,200
  • Charles Howell III – $9,100
  • Gary Woodland – $9,000

The folks at DraftKings has given us a lot of tough choices this week.  Jon Rahm is at $11,400 which is a lot of money, but he is playing great right now.  Hasn’t been above 8th in his last four events, including a win at the Hero.  With him winning the event in 2017 have to say he is worth the high price.  Same with Justin Rose at $10,800.  Yes his last two starts haven’t been stellar and many could blame it on using new equipment, but he is playing a course that he was T-8th last year and T-4th in 2017, so he is worth the pick.  Now for Rory McIlroy at $11,100 I have to say no.  He is playing for the first time and I just have to think these poa annua greens will give him fits, so save him for later in the year.  Tiger Woods at $10,500 is another deep question.  I say flip a coin on him, can go in either direction but the price is too high.  We know the worth of Jason Day, even at $10,100.  He plays great at Torrey but hasn’t played great since the Players Championship.  Only thing, he is too good of a player not to figure it out.  We are seeing Tony Finau for the first time in the calendar year, he is high at $9,900 but I say worth the price.  Marc Leishman at $9,700 is worth the price, plays well at Torrey and in his last five starts has a win in CIMB Classic, T-18th, 2nd, T-4th and T-3rd.  So yes he is worth the price.  Xander Schauffele at $9,400 is our first real Challenge.  How can you say no to a guy that has won twice in his last four starts?  Easily when it comes to playing in front of his home crowd and on a course he is 0 for 3 in missing the cut.  So many good choices, take a rest on him this week.  Rickie Fowler at $9,300 I am taking a rest on due to missing the cut in 3 of his last 4 starts.  Patrick Cantlay at $9,200 is a tough choice, terrible Torrey record but has played well of late finishing in the top-ten in his last 4 starts.  Charles Howell III at $9,100 is another question mark. His play has been ok of late but not stellar, his Farmers record makes you say yes due to finishing in the top-ten in 8 of his 16 starts in San Diego. Last we have Gary Woodland at $9,000, I say no due to his sloppy play in Palm Springs and he has never been great at Torrey.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

The big problem, there are so many “expensive” players worth the pick, we have to find some lower price talent for this week.  First up is Alex Noren at $8,600, he played great last year and I see him playing well this year.  Also think on this course that Cameron Champ is worth the $8,500.  We know from past Farmers that Brandt Snedeker is worth the $8,400.  Also think that Keegan Bradley is a great dark horse at $8,300.  He was 5th last year and T-4th the year before.  Also like Luke List at $7,700, he was T-12th last year.  Talking about last year Ryan Palmer, who is $7,600 was runner-up and worth the price.

What are the “Bargains” out there?

There are a couple of good ones. First I like for some odd reason J.J. Spaun at $7,300. Has played well the last six months and is 11 under in this event for 8 rounds.  Harris English at $7,300 has a good record in this event and always seems to produce, so he is a great buy.  Also like Charl Schwartzel at $7,200 because these are the courses he plays well, this is his first Torrey start.  Jimmy Walker at $7,200 is also a good buy, has always gone low at Torrey.  Also have to say very surprised to see Adam Long at $6,800.  Shows little respect for someone that won last week.  Can understand the reason because he is probably way overloaded to think about playing again, but still I can pick him since he is so cheap.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Farmers Insurance Open

Key stat for the winner:

The South course can be stretched to over 7,600 yards but don’t look for that length although some tees will be back.  Driving will play an important role this week, especially with the rain that has hit the San Diego area in the last month.  Look for those that do well in the total driving stat, the one that combines both distance and accuracy.  In the past couple of years, the course has prided itself with heavy U.S. Open rough which makes it tough to hit your shot into the green if you miss the fairway.  Last year it was 6th in rough proximity while in 2014 and ’15 the course was the hardest course on proximity to the hole and in 2016 it was 2nd.  Last year players in the rough averaged getting it 49 feet, 2 inches to the hole.  See the same happening this year, so it’s best to keep it in the fairway.

Here are some more key stats to look for this week:
  • The course was revamped and toughened 17 years ago and now has a “U.S. Open feel” to it.  In past years this course had the reputation as the course that major winners are victorious on as between 1992 and 2008 all the champions also had major victories except for one, Peter Jacobsen in 1995.  Nick Watney broke things up in 2009, Ben Crane in 2010, and Bubba Watson wasn’t a major winner when he won in 2011.  Brandt Snedeker kept the streak alive in 2012, but it was broken in 2013 when Tiger returned to the winner’s circle.  In 2015 Jason Day won, but it would be seven months later before he won his first major at the PGA Championship.  Last year Day won again and then four months later was victorious at the Wells Fargo won, so good players tend to do well at the Farmers..
  • One record that got broken in 2017 was Jon Rahm winning.  It was Rahm’s first start in the Farmers; the last rookie champion was in 1991 with Jay Don Blake.  Along with 1989 champion Greg Twiggs, Blake, Twiggs and now Rahm is the only Farmers champions to win just once on the PGA Tour.  Even more remarkable the only player to win the Farmers in his first start was Ted Kroll; the winner of the first Farmers in 1952 so Jon Rahm joins him, and we wonder if it will be over 60 years before this ever happens again.
  • Greens that will be classified as “bumpy” may play a role in determining the champion.  Now people who have played it in the last couple of days say they are perfect, but anything could happen.  Although the South greens were redone in 2001, Poa Annua has crept back into almost 95% of the greens.  With that, if it tends to get foggy in the morning, the greens will be inconsistent and drive players a bit crazy.  Again, patience will be the key here.  There is a reason the greens are the hardest to putt on the PGA Tour and more putts from 3 to 6 feet are missed on it.
  • Look at the list of champions shows that scramblers have done very well in this event.  Look for the player who can get it up and down to win.  Last year it may of ranked 19th, but in previous years it ranked 5th in 2017 while in 2016 it ranked 2nd in scrambling.  In 2015 it ranked 10th, and in 2014 it ranked 8th toughest on tour and has been in the top-ten six of the last nine years.
  • One round is played on Torrey North, a course that this year will be 440 yards shorter than the South.  In 2016 it played three and a half shots easier than the home South course.  Last year it was a shot and a half easier.  To win, the player needs to play great in his round on the North.  Since 1983, no champion has ever been over par on the North course, and except for six years, they have shot in the 60s with 21 of the 34 shooting 67 or under.  Last year Jason Day shot 64 on the North Course while in 2017 Jon Rahm shot 69.  In 2016 Brandt Snedeker shot 70. In 2015 Jason Day shot 65 on the North Course, so he was seven under on that course and 2 under on the South Course.  So look for the champion to go low on the North Course
  • Before Jon Rahm, Jason Day, Scott Stallings, Ben Crane, Bubba Watson, and Brandt Snedeker won, this was a great bit of Farmer’s trivia.  Before Crane’s 2009 victory 15 of the previous winners had “California ties”  going a step further, 25 of 63 winners had either been born, raised, gone to school or live in California,  You may wonder why this stat is important?  Poa annua is a grass found mostly in California that gives those that play and know the grass a special advantage, so that’s why it’s important.
  • The good news is that the weather will be perfect during the championship, but it will be very uncharacteristic that it will be cold, with each day barely climbing above the 60s.

Who to watch for at the Farmers Insurance Open

Best Bets:

Jon Rahm

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T29 Win

Has everything going for him, playing well now and plays good at Torrey Pines.

Justin Rose

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T8 T4 CUT CUT T33 T25 T22 T51

Have to think that Rose is better suited to play at Torrey than anyone other than Tiger and Rory.

Jason Day

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
Win CUT CUT Win T2 T9 CUT T35 T49

No reason for him not winning again, game is good and plays well at Torry.

Best of the rest:

Marc Leishman

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T8 T20 CUT T27 T2 CUT T52 T9 T2 T26

Same combination of playing well of late and knowing how to handle Torrey Pines.

Tiger Woods

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T23 CUT WD T80 Win T44 Win Win

Do we need to talk about how much Tiger has dominated at Torrey? Just has to get use to a couple of different things, still like him for this week.

Tony Finau

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T6 T4 T18 T24

Has the power to overpower the course, does putt well on Poa Annua greens.

Keegan Bradley

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
5 T4 CUT T41 T16 CUT T22 T25

This guy is someone that nobody else will pick and do great this week.

Charles Howell III

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T6 T2 T16 T5 T37 T9 T43 T14 T9 T42 T13 2

Yes he can win this week, has come close before, this event seems to be one of his better ones.

Solid contenders

Brandt Snedeker

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T45 T9 Win T19 CUT T2 Win T9 T2 T42 CUT 3

Has a great record at Torrey, we will see if he is playing good enough.

Ryan Palmer

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T2 CUT WD

Was runner-up last year.

Patrick Cantlay

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T51 CUT

Yes he hasn’t played well at Torrey but has played well of late.

Alex Noren

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T2

Showed a lot last year when he almost won.

Harris English

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T8 T14 T31 T2 T73 T43

Has a great record in this event and always produces a lot of birdies.

Cameron Champ

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

His length will help him a lot on this course.

Long shots that could come through:

J.B. Holmes

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
4 T33 T6 T2 T23 CUT CUT T63 T27 T26 T44 CUT

Watch him, has three very good finishes at Torrey in the last four years.

J.J. Spaun

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T23 T9

Has played well his 8 times at Torrey, was T-9th in 2017.

C.T. Pan

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T35 T2

Runner-up in 2017.

Just can’t grasp them this week:

Rory McIlroy

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

Playing the course for the first time, think he will have fits with the greens.

Jordan Spieth

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
CUT T19 CUT

Just seems to get deeper into his funk.

Gary Woodland

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T12 T20 T18 T45 T10 T27 T76 T58 T81

Just don’t like him this week, has played consistently but nothing showing that he can win.

Comments

  1. jmarkgrice@gmail.com says:

    Sal I think another value guy this week is Kyle Stanley. He is 1 of 8 players to make the cut here the last 4 years. He also played well in the Fall and at the Sony.

  2. Yes Stanley is good value at $7,500. I passed on him not relizing that he had a great 2018 and hasn’t played that bad in 2018. But other than his runner-up in the Farmers in 2012, he hasn’t been that great in this event.

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