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Farmers Insurance Open: Expert Picks

Tony Finau plays fine at Pines.

U.S. Open - Preview Day 1 Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Tournament Information:

Farmers Insurance Open
Date: January 27th – 30th
Course: Torrey Pines Golf Course
Purse: $8.4mm ($1.5mm to winner)
2021 Winner: Patrick Reed (-14)
OWGR Points: 62

Course: Torrey Pines:

Created in 1957 by William F. Bell and redesigned by Rees Jones in 2001, this 7,600 yard long course (longest on PGA tour) runs right along the Pacific Ocean. They host canyons and thick grass along the perimeter and require a long shot off the tee. While they are fairly open for the more inaccurate tee shots, there are traps placed throughout to trip up the golfers not prepared. The greens can run into the ocean and it’s best to fall short. Players who can drive the ball far tend to thrive but the bunkers are punishing and the coastline provides out of bounds into the ocean.

PGA TOUR - 2002 Buick Invitational Photo by Stan Badz/PGA

My Starting 4

Tony Finau (second selection this year) - Tony is as good as it gets at Torrey Pines. Across the last five years he has four top 10 finishes and his lone year he didn’t finish in the top 10 (2019) he finished 13th.

Jon Rahm (first selection this year) The winner here back in 2017, he has three other top 10’s here (each of the last three years). He’s #1 in OWGR and comes into this tournament with back-to-back top 15 finishes.

Ryan Palmer (second selection this year) Ryan finished 2nd here twice (2018 and 2021). Besides those two finishes he was 13th in 2019 and 21st in 2020. Palmer is 6th in strokes gained off the tee and 10th in strokes gained tee to green.

Marc Leishman (third selection this year) Marc has four top 20’s at Torrey Pines across the last five years. He has not finished worse than 40th this season, driven by a solid all around game. He’s among the top 100 in driving, irons and putting (12th!).

My Bench 2

Luke List (first selection this year) Luke made the cut here the last four years, finishing among the top 40 each year and having two top 15’s. Luke has two missed cuts across eight tournaments, as well as five top-25 finishes. He still drives the ball a mile.

Patrick Reed (first selection this year) Is there a spot greater than #1? Patrick was 23rd here in 2018, 13th in 2019, 6th in 2020—and he won the tournament last year. I don’t know how he can continue to improve here.

2021-2022 Stats

Start: Average Finish 43rd (37th percent)
Bench: Average Finish 59th (50th percent)