Fantasy Insider: Farmers Insurance OpenJanuary 22, 2013
You know the drill. You went through it last week. However, what you do about it this week could prove more valuable.
The Farmers Insurance Open is contested over two courses -- Torrey Pines North and Torrey Pines South. Both play to a par of 72, but daily leaguers will want to shape their lineups around Torrey North for the first two rounds. (Only Torrey South will be used after the 36-hole cut.)
Looking at the last 10 years, the highest Torrey North has averaged in any season is 71.88 (in 2009). During the same time frame, the lowest Torrey South has scored is 72.36 (in 2012). But comparing courses in the same years, Torrey South averaged 74.01 in 2009 and Torrey North 69.55 in 2012, so the respective differences in each year were 2.13 strokes (in 2009) and 2.81 (in 2012).
Again focusing only on the last 10 years, the range of differences in scoring between the two tracks in the same year starts at a low of 1.78 strokes (in 2011) and skies up to 4.23 (in 2006). After five consecutive years north of 3.30, last year's (2.81) is the widest of the most recent five editions.
My one-and-done selections and season totals appear in The TOUR Report on Wednesdays.
On a Roll
Brian Stuard ... One of three on TOUR with as many as two top 10s. The other two are Charles Howell III (No. 3 in my Power Rankings) and idle Matt Kuchar.
Richard H. Lee ... His T10 at the Humana Challenge was punctuated with a hole-in-one on the par-3 15th hole on Sunday. He added 26 birdies throughout the week. The solid effort also eliminated any residual concern over his illness that forced him to withdraw during the Sony Open in Hawaii. He now has four top 15s in his last eight starts on the PGA TOUR.
Jimmy Walker ... Riding a streak of 11 consecutive cuts made on the PGA TOUR. It includes five top 25s, the most recent of which a T23 last week at the Humana Challenge. After missing his first three cuts at Torrey Pines, he's 2-for-2 with a T8 last year.
James Hahn ... Gamers may find more lightning in a bottle this week. Consider that he ended 2012 with a solo runner-up at the Web.com Tour Championship, and then posted a T4 at last week's Humana Challenge in his second start at a PGA TOUR rookie.
David Lingmerth ... He's off to quite a start on the PGA TOUR. In eight rounds -- all under par -- he's averaged 66.75. While he lost in a playoff last week, he's already seventh in FedExCup points. The Swede's weapons are accuracy off the tee and short game, so don't be surprised if he's in the hunt again this week.
Matt Jones ... With two top 25s in as many starts this season, he's already matched last year's total in 19. The Aussie has four consecutive top 25s worldwide dating back to the Fall Series. Sneaky record at Torrey Pines where he's 4-for-4 with a solo fifth in 2009.
Charley Hoffman ... Returns for his 16th appearance at the site of his first career start on the PGA TOUR (in 1994). It took him nine tries to crack the top 55, and he's failed to post a top 50 in his last three visits, but he's coming off a potentially inspiring T10 at the Humana Challenge. It's his first top 10 in January in five years.
Horses for Courses
Rickie Fowler ... Hasn't played since a T6 at the 30-man Hyundai Tournament of Champions. That trailed a T4 at the 18-man World Challenge in December. So, while skeptics might cite the limited fields of both, the results could certainly have been much worse, especially since he was an ongoing question mark in the wake of a back injury. The native of Southern California has three top 20s in as many starts at Torrey Pines.
Bud Cauley ... Made some noise last week in the desert with a second-round 63, but faded to finish T37. Nevertheless, those good vibes may carry over at Torrey Pines where he shared 13th place in his debut a year ago.
John Huh ... Recorded a T6 here last year in what was just his second career PGA TOUR start. He began the final round in a share of second place and played alongside Kyle Stanley. This season, Huh is 2-for-2 with a 63 in his second round at Waialae. He's survived 10 consecutive cuts.
Seung-yul Noh ... As much as you shouldn't apply too much emphasis on success at a shootout like the Humana Challenge, it's not wise to cite failure at that event when projecting ahead. His consecutive cuts made streak on the PGA TOUR ended at 17 last week, but he missed the cut there last year, too. His T27 at Torrey Pines in 2012 is more indicative of the kind of value he possesses; that is, the cream rises proportionately with the level of difficulty.
Vijay Singh ... Solid, not spectacular, record at Torrey Pines. In eight starts dating back to 1994, he's posted five top 25s including in each of his last three. Opened 2013 with a T20 at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
D.A. Points ... While he's failed to back up his playoff loss at Quail Hollow last year with a top 15 in 17 starts, he's chalked up three of his 14 career top 10s at Torrey Pines. He goes for a fourth straight this week.
Ryo Ishikawa ... Began his first year as a PGA TOUR member with a missed cut last week in La Quinta, but he tied for 13th here last year. Incidentally, he's not a rookie in 2013 because he made at least 10 starts after accepting Special Temporary Membership last season.
Troy Matteson ... He's always all-or-nothing so you already know what you're getting, but he's logged three top 25s in seven trips to Torrey Pines. Again, not surprisingly, his personal-best T9 in 2011 was his only cut made in his last four.
Robert Allenby, Matt Every, Brian Harman, Martin Flores, Will Claxton, Casey Wittenberg, Patrick Reed, Bobby Gates and Aaron Watkins ... All have started the season 0-for-2.
Not So Fast
Bo Van Pelt ... There aren't many sites at which he doesn't deserve an endorsement, but Torrey Pines is one of them. He's missed six of eight cuts and it's been nine years since he shared fourth place.
Robert Garrigus ... Although he picked up where he left off last year with a T16 at the Humana Challenge, he's struggled throughout his career at Torrey Pines. In seven starts, he's missed four cuts including his last three.
Jeff Overton ... While he delivered a career-best T27 at PGA West on cue, he hadn't missed a cut at the Humana Challenge in three previous attempts. His track record at Torrey Pines isn't as appealing as his only cut made in four appearances was a T81/MDF in 2009.
Kyle Stanley ... After finishing last at the 30-man season-opener at Kapalua, he tied for 67th at the Sony Open in Hawaii, and then missed the cut by six strokes at last week's Humana Challenge. Hasn't cracked a top 25 in his last 10 starts worldwide.
J.B. Holmes ... Making his season debut. Give him a start to shed the rust. While Torrey Pines caters to his length and while he's survived five of seven cuts at this event, he's yet to record a top 25.
Steve Marino ... In his last four starts at Torrey Pines, he's made only two cuts and hasn't posted a top 50. The positive spin here is that the Farmers will be his third consecutive start this season, and my fade has nothing do with his recovery from his knee injury.
John Mallinger ... The local native has started 2013 with two missed cuts. He's also failed to survive the cut in his last three starts at Torrey Pines.
Back in the Saddle
Brandt Jobe ... First start since the 2012 AT&T National. Sat out the rest of the year with a herniated disc. Given 10 starts on a Major Medical Extension.
Brian Davis ... With two missed cuts to start the year, he's now missed 10 in his last 13.