Expert Picks: Farmers Insurance Open

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January 24, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
EXPERT PICKS
How it works: Our experts from PGATOUR.COM select the player they think will win this week's event. By using a draft process, no two picks can be the same.
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SLEEPER PICKS: Who might surprise at the Farmers Insurance Open?
Expert picks: Farmers Insurance Open
Expert
 
Pick order Player selected
 
Brian
Wacker
DUSTIN JOHNSON. Let's try this again. Forget that Johnson withdrew last week -- it was back pain from the knee injury, not the knee itself that was hurting. Johnson also tied for third last year at Torrey Pines, which suits his game well.
 
John
Swantek
PHIL MICKELSON. Shook off the winter rust at the Humana Challenge last week, rallying from an opening round 74 to go 12 under the last three days. I like that trend heading into an event that he's won three times and will feed off the energy of the hometown crowd.
If Swantek had the top pick ... Mickelson
Amanda
Balionis
BEN CRANE. He won the Farmers Insurance Open two years ago and hasn't finished outside the top 15 there since 2008. He also finished in the top 10 in each of his first two starts this year.
If Balionis had the top pick ... Mickelson
Ryan
Smithson
BRANDT SNEDEKER. He's obviously healthy -- he came out of the gate at the Humana Challenge, finishing tied for eighth after shooting 19 under. Has three top-10s in his career at Torrey Pines. Threat to shoot 59 on North Course if the wind is down.
If Smithson had the top pick ... Snedeker
Chris
Dunham
NICK WATNEY. His beloved 49ers suffered a tough overtime defeat Sunday in San Francisco but I expect better things for the 2009 champion this Sunday at Torrey Pines. Watney has four top-10 finishes in the last five events here.
If Dunham had the top pick ... Watney
John
Schwarb
BILL HAAS. The defending FedExCup champion hasn't hit the ground running in 2012, but last year finished T9 at Farmers, his best finish in seven starts. He's first in GIR and 12th in Driving Accuracy this year, two great stats to take to beefy Torrey Pines.
If Schwarb had the top pick ... Mickelson
Anne
Szeker
CAMILO VILLEGAS. Villegas finally hit his stride toward the end of 2011, and played well in his first start of 2012 at the Humana Challenge. He held a share of the lead last week, but eventually settled for a T19. He's finished as high as T3 at this event.
If Szeker the top pick ... Johnson
Mike
McAllister
RICKIE FOWLER. He's going to break through on TOUR at some point. Why not Torrey Pines? He finished T5 here two years ago and T20 last year, so a couple of good results to build on. He has switched to Cobra clubs; hopefully, the transition period will be short.
If McAllister had the top pick ... Watney
Lauren
Deason
D.A. POINTS. Quickly building a reputation as someone who is tough on the West Coast. Already off to a great start in 2012 with two finishes inside the top 15. Shot 68-67 on the weekend here last year to finish fifth.
If Deason had the top pick ... Snedeker
Helen
Ross
BUBBA WATSON. With a win last year and two other top-10s in six starts at Farmers, Watson obviously knows how to play Torrey. Plus, you've got to like a guy who's playing a pink driver -- shaft AND head -- to raise money for cancer research.
If Ross had the top pick ... Mickelson

The Farmers Insurance Open is the fourth event of the 2012 season. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders:

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