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BlogFarmers Preview and Picks

Farmers Insurance Open

January 23rd – 26th, 2020

Torrey Pines South Course

San Diego, CA

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,765

Purse: $7.5 million

with $1,350,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Justin Rose

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 36 of the top 100 in the latest Official World rankings with 19 of the top 50 players.  There are five players from the top-ten, #2 Rory McIlroy #3 Jon Rahm, #6 Tiger Woods, #8 Justin Rose and #9 Xander Schauffele.  The other top 50 players are #12 Patrick Reed, #15 Gary Woodland, #16 Tony Finau, #21 Francesco Molinari, #23 Hideki Matsuyama, #25 Rickie Fowler, #28 Marc Leishman, #28 Cameron Smith, #34 Sungjae Im, #39 Billy Horschel, #44 Jason Day, #45 Jordan Spieth, #47 Byeong Hun An and #48 Brandt Snedeker.

Last year 24 top-50 players were in the field.

The field includes 16 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2020.  Those players are #3 Sebastian Munoz, #4 Lanto Griffin, #5 Cameron Smith, #6 Rory McIlroy, #7 Sungjae Im, #8 Joaquin Niemann, #10 Cameron Champ, #11 Xander Schauffele, #12 Hideki Matsuyama, #15 Scottie Scheffler, #18 Tiger Woods, #19 Carlos Ortiz, #20 Harris English, #21 Tom Hoge, #24 Byeong Hun An and #25 Danny Lee

The field includes 9 past champions in the field (winning 19 Farmers titles) this week: Justin Rose – 2019, Jason Day – 2018 & ’15, Jon Rahm 2017, Brandt Snedeker – 2016 & ’12, Scott Stallings – 2014,  Tiger Woods – 2013, ’08, ’07, ’06, ’05, ’03 & 1999, Bubba Watson – 2011, Nick Watney – 2009 and Phil Mickelson 2001, ’01 & ’93.

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 the 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 American Express Sony Open Sentry TofC Australian PGA DP World Dubai RSM Classic Mayakoba Classic WGC HSBC Champions Bermuda Champ. Zozo Champ. CJ Cup Houston Open Shriners Hospitals
Cameron Smith
(201 pts)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP T60
(0)
DNP DNP T3
(30)
DNP T13
(12.33)
Scottie Scheffler
(161.33 pts)
3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
T18
(10.67)
DNP T3
(30)
DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
T74
(0)
Lanto Griffin
(154 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
13
(37)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T76
(0)
DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP DNP Win
(44)
T18
(10.67)
Xander Schauffele
(146.67 pts)
DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Ryan Palmer
(143.33 pts)
DNP T4
(80)
T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T10
(13.33)
T12
(12.67)
DNP T37
(4.33)
Patrick Reed
(128.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T2
(100)
DNP T28
(11)
DNP DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP T17
(11)
DNP DNP DNP
Hideki Matsuyama
(125.67 pts)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T11
(13)
DNP 2
(33.33)
T3
(30)
DNP T16
(11.33)
Cameron Davis
(116 pts)
T29
(21)
T9
(45)
DNP T3
(60)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Sungjae Im
(115.67 pts)
T10
(40)
T21
(29)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T11
(13)
DNP T3
(30)
T39
(3.67)
DNP DNP
Rory McIlroy
(114 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 4
(40)
DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP T3
(30)
DNP DNP DNP
Brendan Steele
(110.33 pts)
T43
(7)
2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T41
(3)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T29
(7)
Rickie Fowler
(110 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Gary Woodland
(108.33 pts)
DNP DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 5
(23.33)
T3
(30)
DNP T55
(0)
Jon Rahm
(106 pts)
DNP DNP 10
(40)
DNP Win
(66)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Collin Morikawa
(100.67 pts)
DNP T21
(29)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T22
(9.33)
T36
(4.67)
DNP T42
(2.67)
Sepp Straka
(93.33 pts)
T4
(80)
T53
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Cameron Champ
(91.67 pts)
T21
(29)
DNP T14
(36)
T27
(15.33)
DNP DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
CUT
(-3.33)
Tom Hoge
(88 pts)
T6
(60)
T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Sebastian Munoz
(82.67 pts)
T21
(29)
CUT
(-10)
T17
(33)
DNP DNP 3
(30)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Joaquin Niemann
(81.67 pts)
DNP T57
(0)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T33
(5.67)
T12
(12.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Bud Cauley
(81.67 pts)
T4
(80)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T9
(15)
CUT
(-3.33)
Henrik Norlander
(77 pts)
T68
(0)
T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
T41
(3)
DNP T28
(7.33)
DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Joel Dahmen
(72 pts)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T6
(20)
DNP DNP 76
(0)
T43
(2.33)
DNP T9
(15)
Matthew NeSmith
(71 pts)
T17
(33)
T32
(18)
DNP DNP DNP T14
(12)
T48
(0.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T18
(10.67)
Talor Gooch
(68.67 pts)
T17
(33)
T63
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
T55
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
T71
(0)
Russell Knox
(67.67 pts)
T37
(13)
T32
(18)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(10)
T33
(5.67)
DNP T11
(13)
DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
T48
(0.67)
Carlos Ortiz
(66.33 pts)
T48
(2)
T53
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
T37
(4.33)
Bo Hoag
(63 pts)
WD
(-5)
T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP 75
(0)
T20
(10)
DNP T11
(13)
DNP DNP T51
(0)
73
(0)
Matthew Wolff
(62 pts)
T61
(0)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
74
(0)
DNP T18
(10.67)
Sebastian Cappelen
(61.67 pts)
T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T66
(0)
DNP T35
(5)
DNP DNP T66
(0)
DNP
Denny McCarthy
(61 pts)
T48
(2)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T8
(16.67)
T48
(0.67)
DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP DNP T9
(15)
T9
(15)
Ted Potter, Jr.
(58 pts)
T37
(13)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Pat Perez
(58 pts)
DNP T45
(5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP DNP T51
(0)
T31
(6.33)
DNP 3
(30)
Tim Wilkinson
(54.33 pts)
T21
(29)
T32
(18)
DNP DNP DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP DNP T48
(0.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Sam Ryder
(54.33 pts)
T29
(21)
T28
(22)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T66
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
T18
(10.67)

How Player Rankings are Computed

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

Player American Express Sony Open Sentry TofC Australian PGA DP World Dubai RSM Classic Mayakoba Classic WGC HSBC Champions Bermuda Champ. Zozo Champ. CJ Cup Houston Open Shriners Hospitals
Vince Covello
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Roger Sloan
(-27 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T41
(3)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Mackenzie Hughes
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T65
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T55
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Doug Ghim
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T65
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
J.J. Spaun
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T80
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 73
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Cameron Percy
(-26 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T48
(0.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Nelson Ledesma
(-22.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T28
(7.33)
DNP DNP T74
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Patton Kizzire
(-20.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T68
(0)
T58
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T42
(2.67)
Kevin Stadler
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
John Senden
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T62
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Andrew Landry – The poster child for why fantasy golf is so hard

So how many of you picked Andrew Landry and let’s be truthful.  I have a list of a half dozen things I look at and one of them is how a player does in previous years at a tournament.  In looking through the field of the American Express it was hard to find players that had good records but one was Andrew Landry.   In 2018 she played great, opening up with rounds of 63-65 and found himself in a playoff with Jon Rahm, losing on the fourth hole.  He also played well last year shooting four rounds in the 60s and I thought, geez he could be a sleeper pick.  But in looking at his record for the year it was easy to eliminate him, in eight starts he only made one cut and had missed the last five.  So how does a guy go from shooting 77-76 one week to shooting 66-64-65-67?  That’s the PGA Tour.  As Landry said after his round on Saturday, it wasn’t like he was playing terrible, he was just inconsistent which he understands is his biggest problem.  He also was very sick in Hawaii and coming from poor weather in Hawaii to great weather in Palm Springs, along with having his family joining him got the juices going.  But the fact that the courses used for the American Express fit his eye just goes to show that it’s really hard to pick players.  Of course, for some it’s easy, I will bet any amount of money that Martin Trainer will not be winning in the near future, matter of fact for the winner of the Puerto Rico Open he has only played four times on the weekend in the 25 events he has played in since winning Puerto Rico.  So you can see, sometimes things are easy to judge but in the case of Andrew Landry, not many of us got it right.  It’s funny we could of seen the good play for Landry possibly coming, in 2018 after losing the playoff at the American Express he missed his next four cuts, finished T-42nd at the Heritage and then won the Valero Texas Open so he is your true, horses for courses type of player and maybe we should remember his name when the Texas Open comes around.

Tiger is back

We can experience Tiger-mania again and things are really different.  Tiger comes in with a lot of momentum after winning in Japan in November and playing well in the Presidents Cup.  He comes to the Farmers on the verge of becoming the new PGA Tour win leader.  We all know that’s it’s going to happen either this week or in his next start, he will get win #83 and be the leader with Sam Snead in his rear-view mirror.  Now Tiger comes to an event and course he has had a lot of success at.  Not only has he won the Farmers seven times, but he also won the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey and won a couple of Junior Worlds when it was played at Torrey Pines.  But Tiger has been terrible at Torrey since winning in 2013.  Hard to believe that his third-round 69 would be the last time Tiger would shot in the 60s at Torrey until he shot a final round 67 in the final round last year when he finished T-20th.  So we have to think that the last five starts were nothing but flukes and that this year he will be back to his usual great play at Torrey Pines.

What’s up with Jason Day

I wish I could tell you, only a handful of people Jason Day and those around him know what’s up with him.  Last year at the Farmers, Day shot 67-71-69-67 while he was defending champion and finished T-5th.  In his next start at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Day played well again finishing T-4th with rounds of 65-69-72-68 and we all thought it was going to be a banner year for Day.  But at his next start at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he was forced to withdraw before the start when he was sore after a hard practice session. After an MRI revealed a tear in his L4-L5 discs, he had four injections and rested. Played the next week at The Players Championship, shooting 70-66-68-72 to finish T-8th.  Now the discs didn’t get better as Day missed the cut at the Valspar Championship and lost all three of his matches at the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship.  After some more rest, he returned at the Masters shot 70-67-73-67 to finish T-5th just two shots back of winner Tiger Woods.  But Day’s game just wasn’t right the rest of the year, he was T-23rd at the PGA Championship, missed the cut at the Memorial, T-21st at the U.S. Open but missed the cut at the British Open.  He wasn’t right in the FedEx Cup playoffs and was gone after missing the cut at the Northern Trust and finishing T-52nd at the BMW Championship.  The biggest problem for Day, he never knows when his back would go out, at the Masters he hurt it before the first round by just leaning down to kiss his daughter.  He has tried just about everything including balloon therapy in which blowing balloons helps get his rib cage, hips and shoulders aligned, thus alleviating pressure on his back.  In October Day returned to play at the CJ Cup in Korea and finished T-31st.  The next week he looked good at the Japan Skins game and was T-22nd at the Zozo Championship, but missed the cut at the Mayakoba Classic.  It looked like things were Ok until he was practicing in Palm Springs two weeks before he was to leave for Australia to play in the Australian Open and the Presidents Cup.  But he hurt the back again and was forced to withdraw and we haven’t heard anything from the Day camp other than he is playing at the Farmers.  This has been a problem for Day for a while now and you would have thought that possibly there would be some kind of surgery to fix the problem, but it seems that Day is content to just rest the back and hope that it goes away.  So it’s a sad saga to see a talented guy like Jason Day, who a couple of years back we thought could be the best in the world just go month to month with the same problem just lingering and waiting to crop up again.  We shall see what Jason says this week, but we have seen this problem too many times to have any confidence in choosing Jason for any tournament now or in the future.

Course information:
  • Played at the two courses at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California
  • South Course (Home Course) – Par:  72 / Yardage: 7,765
  • North Course – Par: 72 / Yardage 7,258
  • Last year the South course was the 18th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 71.73 average.  The North Course was the 45th hardest course, playing to an average of 69.84
  • 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 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 the 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.  With the changes, the course was able to stretch to 7,700 yards although the PGA Tour played 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 50 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 in 2002 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 will return the Open to Torrey.

To get ready for the 2021 U.S. Open, course architect Rees Jones returned after last year’s event to get the course ready by making numerous subtle changes.  $14 million was spent to renovate and strengthen the course by installing a new irrigation system.  They also resowed every tee and redid every bunker and redid the areas around all 18 greens without doing anything to the greens. The most striking alterations come on the 4th, 9th, 10th, 15th, and 17th holes. Tees were moved to make it harder to drive in the fairway and new bunkers were added to make players think more about a shot.  So the changes will add more of a premium on accurate driving but another thing the changes did was add another 67 yards to the course making it play to 7,765 which is not only the longest course on the tour but the first course to venture over the 7,700-yard mark.  As one pro Beau Hossler said to Tod Leonard of the San Diego Tribune:

They’re kind of seemingly taking away the easy holes and turning them into moderate holes.  So, basically, there are no easy holes out here when you play it all the way back.”  So it will be interesting to see how much harder the course will play, of course, if the weather is perfect like predicted scores will be low and we may never know until either next year’s Farmers or when the U.S. Open is played on the course.

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 year’s Farmers Insurance Open, and using data from all the players in the field for with stats from 2020.
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 2019 was 71.73 making it the 18th hardest course on the PGA Tour. That is the first time that the South Course played under par since 2001 when it played to an average of 71.82. Days after that event, bulldozers came in and the course was completely renovated for the 2008 U.S. Open by Rees Jones. So why did the course play so easily last year? Weather, it couldn’t be better, warm all four days with wind under 10 mph each day. With that Justin Rose was able to shot 21 under par, the lowest winning score since Tiger Woods shot 22 under in 1999. Of course, wind is always a factor, in 2018 with low temperatures the first three days and winds gusting up to 25 mph the scoring average was 72.81 the 8th hardest course for the year. 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. 73.066 has been the average of the south course since 2015 but the overall tournament average has been 72.27. That’s because one round is played on the North Course which in past years has been a layup but the course had some changes done to it. Last year the north course played to a 69.84 average which was down, again because of the great weather conditions. Yes, the course was changed in 2016 which has made it a shot tougher, but the course has historically been about two shots easier.
Our course key is based on the South Course which underwent another renovation since it was last played. There have been numerous subtle changes on the south course but the most striking alterations were made to the 4th, 9th, 10th, 15th, and 17th holes. Tees were moved to make it harder to drive in the fairway and new bunkers were added to make players think more about a shot.
Still, with the course lying on a bluff over the Pacific Ocean mother nature always plays, it’s part with possible fog this time of year, rain and wind. For this year temperatures will be mild in the mid-60s each day and for the first three days, winds will be under 6 mph.
On Sunday the winds will creep up to 10 mph, but this won’t be a problem for the pros so expect good scoring.

In looking at the stats for Torrey South last year, driving is essential. Last year it ranked 32nd on the PGA Tour in driving distance but 1st in driving accuracy. This stat has always been important, it also ranked 1st in 2018 and since 2014 it hasn’t ranked over 9th in accuracy. 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 three were in the top-ten in driving accuracy. Phil Mickelson was T-7th in 2000, Ben Crane was T-8th in 2010 and Justin Rose was T-8th in 2019. But in looking at the driving distance it’s a different story. Of the 21 winners since 1999, 13 of them were in the top-11 as last year’s winner Justin Rose was 11th. So driving is important, the combination of hitting it far and straight.
Another vital stat is proximity to the hole, both for those that hit the fairway. Last year the field hit it an average of 36 feet, 1 inch to the hole making it the 19th hardest on tour. As for rough proximity, the course was 7th hardest with the field hitting it an average of 47′ 5 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 Justin Rose was 5th in this stat as he was T-2nd in greens hit. Rose is only the second winner in the last eight years in the top-ten in greens hit joining Jason Day in 2015 who 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 the4th hardest in making putts inside 10 feet. If you look historically this is the norm, in 2018 it was 5th hardest and it was the hardest in 2016 and ’17 Last year Rose was T-39th in that stat making 46 of 53 putts. But in 2018 Jason Day shined in this stat ranking 1st in the field making 49 of 51 tries for the week.
Our last category is scrambling manly because of its history in which lots of greens are missed, and Torrey is very tough to get it up and down. Last year it was the 15th hardest but in previous years in 2018 it was 19th but 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 Justin Rose, he was 58th in this stat on the 16 greens he missed he got up and down 9 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 the 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. But in 2018 it ranked 19th and last year it was 15th.

138 of the 152 players from this year’s field with stats from this year (note Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Jon Rahm don’t have official stats for 2020:

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

Here is a link to the remaining 128 players with stats for the Farmers Championship.

Of the 156 in the field, 116 have played at least once in the Farmers.  Here are the players with the most under par totals at the Farmers since 2015:
  • Justin Rose is -36 under in 16 rounds playing 5 years
  • Jon Rahm is -29 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Jason Day is -28 under in 16 rounds playing 5 years
  • Tony Finau is -28 under in 20 rounds playing 5 years
  • Hideki Matsuyama is -25 under in 16 rounds playing 5 years
  • Keegan Bradley is -23 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • Ryan Palmer is -21 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Brandt Snedeker is -20 under in 20 rounds playing 5 years
  • Gary Woodland is -20 under in 20 rounds playing 5 years
  • J.B. Holmes is -20 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • Marc Leishman is -19 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • Harris English is -18 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • Cameron Smith is -15 under in 16 rounds playing 5 years
  • Talor Gooch is -15 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Rory McIlroy is -14 under in 4 rounds playing 1 year
*Here are the ones with the best under par totals averaging it per years played (2 or more starts)
  • Ryan Palmer is -21 under, playing 2 years (-10.50)
  • Jon Rahm is -29 under, playing 3 years (-9.67)
  • Talor Gooch is -15 under, playing 2 years (-7.50)
  • Justin Rose is -36 under, playing 5 years (-7.20)
  • Jason Day is -28 under, playing 5 years (-5.60)
  • Tony Finau is -28 under, playing 5 years (-5.60)
  • Hideki Matsuyama is -25 under, playing 5 years (-5.00)
  • Joel Dahmen is -10 under, playing 2 years (-5.00)
  • Keegan Bradley is -23 under, playing 5 years (-4.60)
  • Gary Woodland is -20 under, playing 5 years (-4.00)
  • Mackenzie Hughes is -8 under, playing 2 years (-4.00)
  • J.B. Holmes is -20 under, playing 5 years (-4.00)
  • C.T. Pan is -12 under, playing 3 years (-4.00)
  • Brandt Snedeker is -20 under, playing 5 years (-4.00)
  • Marc Leishman is -19 under, playing 5 years (-3.80)
  • Harris English is -18 under, playing 5 years (-3.60)
  • J.J. Spaun is -9 under, playing 3 years (-3.00)
  • Cameron Smith is -15 under, playing 5 years (-3.00)

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 Tips

*Here are the guys that are very costly:
  • Rory McIlroy – $11,600
  • Jon Rahm – $11,300
  • Tiger Woods – $10,800
  • Justin Rose – $10,300
  • Xander Schauffele – $10,100
  • Hideki Matsuyama – $9,900
  • Rickie Fowler – $9,700
  • Gary Woodland – $9,500
  • Tony Finau – $9,300
  • Patrick Reed – $9,200
  • Sungjae Im – $9,100
  • Jason Day – $9,000

The folks at DraftKings has given us a lot of good choices this week.  First, you have Rory McIlroy at $11,600, he is the favorite because the course is perfect for his game.  He drives it long and straight and that’s what is going to take to win this week.  The only problem with picking Rory is the price it’s high but fair giving you a tough choice.  Jon Rahm at $11,300 is also high but very fair.  Over the course of the last six months, nobody has played better in golf than Rahm with three wins, two runner-ups and 11 top-tens, that and the fact that he won at the Farmers in 2017 makes him a good choice.  Tiger Woods at $10,800 will be on everyone’s radar screen.  Normally I would say yes, it’s a good choice but I am not going to take him this week just because of the fact that despite him winning so much at Torrey I think the course may be a bit too long for him now and will present a problem for him.  Justin Rose at $10,300 is a tough choice, he has been great at Torrey the last three years playing it at 36 under plus was 2nd last week in Singapore.  The only problem could be Singapore, could have some jet lag but he is old enough to know how to handle it.  Xander Schauffele at $10,100 will also be popular but I say be careful.  Yes he has been runner-up in three of his last six starts but he seems to struggle in his home event.  Did finish T-25th last year but missed the cut three straight years before and is 2 over par in 10 rounds, again buyer beware.  Hideki Matsuyama is $9,900 is a bit high but could be a good pick, was T-3rd last year at the Farmers and is 25 under in his last 12 Farmers rounds.  Rickie Fowler at $9,700 is another of those that people will pick but I say buyer beware he has struggled in his last six Farmers starts, in last 16 rounds is 9 over with only 4 rounds under par.  Now Gary Woodland at $9,500 is another story, with his length and accuracy he should be good.  Remember Torrey Pines is a U.S. Open type of course and Woodland is the defending U.S. Open champion and was T-9th last year at the Farmers.  Tony Finau at $9,300 is a great pick, is 28 under in his last 11 rounds at Torrey Pines but what I like is that he is 2nd on the PGA Tour this year in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green which is important for playing well at the Farmers.  Patrick Reed at $9,200 is not one of my favorites, he has played ok at Torrey and will make the cut but don’t think he will contend.  Sungjae Im at $9,100 is priced right and you always seem to get a great buy out of him, think that trend will continue this week.  Jason Day at $9,000 is a big fat no, would not touch him because of his lingering back problem which we still don’t know if it’s getting better.

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

Collin Morikawa at $8,900 will be a high choice by many who feel that he is one of the young players who seem to always be in the running.  Yes, he was that way in Hawaii but struggled in his finish but the weather was challenging.  Farmers wisdom says rookies don’t fare well but remember this, Jon Rahm won as a rookie in 2017 so maybe Morikawa can do the same.  Scottie Scheffler at $8,800 is also in the same boat, a rookie that has a game that could be good at Torrey.  Have to like that in his last four starts has three top-fives, T-3rd Bermuda, T-5th RSM & 3rd last week American Express.  Cameron Smith at $8,700 is another to think of, he was T-9th last year so he can play well.  He won at the Sony on a course that demands accuracy so have to like him.  Many will wonder about Jordan Spieth who is $8,500, I say no the course is just way too big for him.  Now Brandt Snedeker is $8,400 and doesn’t hit the ball far but has won twice, been runner-up twice and he is playing well and his price is very good.  Another good buy is Ryan Palmer at $8,000.  He is 21 under in his last 8 rounds at Farmers, lost in a playoff in 2018 and has to like that he played well in poor weather in the Hawaiian swing.  I have to also like Bud Cauley at $7,600, he was T-4th last week at the American Express with a third-round 71 and finished T-13th last year at the Farmers.

What are the “Bargains” out there?

Keegan Bradley at $7,300 is a steal when you consider that he has two top-five finishes in his last three starts at the Farmers and is 24 under.  Talor Gooch at $7,200 is worth it when you think that he was T-3rd last year at the Farmers and has been very steady on the PGA Tour.  Last week finished T-17th at the American Express finished with 64-68 over the weekend.  Scott Stallings at $6,900 is a good price when you think he won at the Farmers in 2014 and hasn’t played that bad in 2020.

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

The key stat for the winner:

The South course can be stretched to over 7,750 yards but don’t look for that length although some tees will be back.  Driving will play an important role this week, fairways will be dry and the ball will run.  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 the south course was 7th 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 47 feet, 5 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 18 years ago plus the renovation since last year’s event so you know it 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 Rose won and he is a major champion so you have to look at those that have won majors as players with an added edge.
  • One record that got broken in 2017 was Jon Rahm winning.  It was Rahm’s first start in the Farmers and he had never won before on the PGA Tour so he killed two birds with one stone, a first time PGA Tour winner and a Farmers rookie winner.  Now Rahm joined two others to win for the first time on the PGA Tour.  The last rookie PGA Tour winner was in 1991 with Jay Don Blake, who in his fifth Farmers start won on the PGA Tour for the first time.  He joined Greg Twiggs who in 1989 playing his second Farmers won his first PGA Tour victory so in the 67-year history of the Farmers there are three first-time PGA Tour winners at the Farmers.  But that leaves one record left to Rahm, kind of.  Rahm is the only player to win the Farmers on his first start unless you count the fact that Ted Kroll did the same thing in 1952.  The only thing, Kroll was playing in the first Farmers event so in a way you really can’t count that since it was the first one, so Rahm is the holder of one of the most unique records on the PGA Tour.
  • Greens that will be classified as “bumpy” and 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 99% 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 have ranked 15th, 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 ten years.
  • One round is played on Torrey North, a course that this year will be 507 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 nine-tenths 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 Justin Rose shot 63 on the North Course to begin the tournament.  In 2018 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 Justin Rose, 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.   The good news is the winds will be low, Thursday will be the highest day at 9 mph as the rest of the week will be at 7 mph

Who to watch for at the Farmers Insurance Open

Best Bets:

Rory McIlroy

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T5

Many will say he is consistently the best player on tour, possibly better than Brooks Koepka. We will find out this year and he makes his first start on a course that is perfect for him, Torrey will allow him to hit it long and straight which is the best part of his game. It will all be up to his putting and short game, but he is the favorite and my choice.

Jon Rahm

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T5 T29 Win

Has had a remarkable run since the U.S. Open in 14 starts has won three times, been runner-up twice and in the top-ten, 11 times. As for his record at Torrey Pines, won in his first start in 2017 and was T-5th last year, in 12 rounds is 29 under the best of anyone that has played the last three Farmers.

Tony Finau

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T13 T6 T4 T18 T24

His game is great for Torrey, he is 2nd on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green in 2020. His record at Torrey is also good, he is 28 under in his last 11 rounds plus you got to like his last two weeks of golf he has been 27 under par in Hong Kong and American Express

Best of the rest:

Tiger Woods

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T20 T23 CUT WD T80 Win T44 Win

He is the romantic favorite, going after the career victory record on a course he has won seven Farmers and a U.S. Open on. He is playing great since his surgery in September, but with the new addition of yardage to Torrey over the summer I worry that the course could be a bit long for Tiger, so be careful don’t let his past allow you to make a poor choice.

Gary Woodland

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T9 T12 T20 T18 T45 T10 T27 T76 T58 T81

A U.S. Open champion on a U.S. Open style course. Shot 9 rounds under par in last 3 Farmers, was T-9th last year.

Ryan Palmer

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T13 T2 CUT

21 under in his last 8 rounds at Farmers, lost in playoff in 2018. Was 12 under in the Hawaiian swing in poor weather, was T-4th at the Sony.

Hideki Matsuyama

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T3 T12 T33 CUT CUT T16

T-3rd last year at the Farmers, has been 25 under in his last 12 Farmers rounds. In his last six starts has not been worst than 16th, is 69 under par. Best finish 2nd Zozo Championship

Solid contenders

Brandt Snedeker

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T62 T45 T9 Win T19 CUT T2 Win T9 T2 T42 CUT

The important thing is that he is healthy and coming to a course he has won twice on, been runner-up twice and he is playing well know.

Sungjae Im

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T52

Played Ok in his first Farmers finishing T-52nd last year. Played well at the American Express with four rounds in the 60s, was T-10th.

Cameron Smith

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T9 T20 T33 CUT CUT

won at the Sony on a course that demands accuracy so have to like him, was T-9th last year at the Farmers so he can play well this week.

Long shots that could come through:

Collin Morikawa

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
First time playing in this event

Has had a great run since turning pro over the summer. Farmers wisdom says rookies don’t fare well but remember this, Jon Rahm won as a rookie in 2017 so maybe Morikawa can do the same.

Scottie Scheffler

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
First time playing in this event

Another rookie, in his last four starts, has three top-fives, T-3rd Bermuda, T-5th RSM & 3rd last week American Express.

Bud Cauley

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T13 T58 CUT T25 CUT T13

T-13th last year at Farmers despite a third-round 74, did shot 67 in final round. Was T-4th at the American Express with a third-round 71.

Players that I am worried about

Xander Schauffele

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T25 CUT CUT CUT

Yes he has played great, in his last six starts been runner-up three times. But he has struggled in his home event at the Farmers, did finish T-25th last year but missed three cuts before and is 2 over par in 10 rounds.

Rickie Fowler

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T66 CUT CUT CUT T61 CUT T6 T13 T20 T5

Was T-5th at Sentry, T-10th at American Express but in both events struggle over the weekend. Has struggled in his last six Farmers starts, in 16 rounds is 9 over with only 4 rounds under par.

Jordan Spieth

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T35 CUT T19 CUT

Everything points to him not playing well this week, the course is way too long for him and we don’t know how much and what shape his game is in.

Jason Day

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T5 Win CUT CUT Win T2 T9 CUT T35 T49

Has won the Farmers twice in the last five years, was T-5th last year. But has struggled with neck and back problems since March of last year, was forced to miss the Presidents Cup last December due to injury. We just don’t know when his back or neck will act up and we just don’t think his game is in good shape right now.

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