- Full preview of the Farmers Insurance Open with The Golf Insider
- Four value picks between $41 and $251
We head off to Southern California, arriving at the self-titled “America’s Finest City”, San Diego. This event, the Farmers Insurance Open, is a staple of the early-season schedule and one which boasts a host of big names and a stack of course form.
Farmers Insurance Open: The Tournament
This event started in 1952 as the San Diego Open. It’s changed sponsors several times since, most notably to Buick in 1992 and Farmers Insurance in 2010. Played early season in California, it’s an event well-attended by the top American golfers and many of the world’s best, and tends to produce “known” winners… for example, Tiger Woods [who plays this week] is a 7-time winner!
Farmers Insurance Open: The Course
We’re at Torrey Pines, which is a 36-hole golf facility on the Pacific Coast boasting a North Course and South Course. Both courses were originally designed by Billy Bell and opened in 1957. The North Course was re-modelled by Tom Weiskopf in 2017 and is a 7,258-yard par 72. The South Course, re-worked in 2001 by Rees Jones, hosted the 2008 US Open and measures 7,698 yards (also a par 72). Low scoring is no formality, with players needing to find fairways and greens to score well.
266: George Burns (1987), Tiger Woods (1999).
Farmers Insurance Open: Past Winners
2019: Justin Rose
2018: Jason Day
2017: Jon Rahm
2016: Brandt Snedeker
2015: Jason Day
Farmers Insurance Open: The Field
There will be a regulation 156 players in California. Rory McIlroy is the $7.50 favourite with BetEasy.
Farmers Insurance Open: The Weather
No significant rain is forecast this week and temperatures will be around the low 20s in what should be very pleasant playing conditions. Wind speeds are also going to be low, with 10mph being a maximum forecast on any of the four days.
Eight wins at Torrey Pines. Seven at the @FarmersInsOpen.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 22, 2020
Farmers Insurance Open: Value Outright Bets
Scottie Scheffler (currently $41 with BetEasy)
Scheffler is playing his first full season on the PGA Tour after an extremely impressive 2018-19 campaign on the Korn Ferry Tour, where he won twice and finished in the Top 10 a total ten times from just 21 starts. He’s hit the ground running so far this season. He was third for us last week at La Quinta and has already notched four Top 7s from eight starts, which is a superb return for a rookie. Scheffler has been touted as a future superstar and was earmarked as the most exciting prospect of the 2019 Korn Ferry Graduates. His solid all-round game should mean he fares well at Torrey Pines as it will test every area of your game, especially off the tee where Scheffler ranks 14th on tour this year. This is his Torrey Pines debut, but youngsters these days seem to adapt immediately and I think on the back of last week’s fine effort, 40/1 represents good value.
Cameron Champ (currently $67 with BetEasy)
Champ is the best driver of a ball in golf and the stats back this up. For a man who regularly hits it 320+ yards, he’s extremely accurate and it’s no surprise to see him ranked first this season in Strokes Gained: Off The Tee. This is probably the most important metric at Torrey Pines, as the course is long and the rough is gnarly… you’d be 330 yards in the rough, as opposed to 290 and in the rough. Champ made his breakthrough at the start of this season with a superb win at the Safeway Open, also in California (and we were on him at a juicy price). Since that win he’s been solid enough, having only missed one cut since, which is encouraging considering Champ has the kind of game that can blow very hot and cold. This week’s test should be ideal for him with that driver being a weapon that just about everyone in this field would pay handsomely. At the price he’s a must bet.
Harris English (currently $101 with BetEasy)
English has been a firm favourite of mine over the last few months and this week’s test looks ideal for the supreme tee-to-green operator. Given his price, he looks a no-brainer. English has had an even more impressive start to the season than Scheffler, registering four Top 6 finishes from just seven starts. We were on him when he nearly won the Mayakoba Classic, but a poor Sunday and Monday saw him squander that chance. His record at Torrey Pines is superb as it plays to all his strengths. He finished runner-up here in 2015 and eighth in 2018, and looks primed to go well again. Despite this week’s field being about as strong as they come, English still looks superb value around this price, especially if you can get extra each-way places from your bookie.
Doc Redman (currently $251 with BetEasy)
As you know, I’m a big fan of Redman as he continually ranks highly in the stats. This just hasn’t been translating into great results as of yet. Redman has had a solid season, finishing in the Top 30 four times from 11 starts, with his best finish coming in Houston where he shared 13th spot. His stats tell a much different story… he ranks 16th in Strokes Gained: Off The Tee and 33rd in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green. This is quite impressive for a player who regularly gets priced up around 200/1+. At the odds, Redman is clearly a speculative (value) bet, but the signs are positive and he continues to hit the ball well from tee to green. We just need him to have a hot week with the putter and he may well challenge for places at a huge price.