Each week throughout the PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM will highlight some of the international players in the field. Here’s a look at several players teeing it up at this week’s Farmers Insurance Open.
Ian Poulter ... Making his first start at Torrey Pines since the 2008 U.S. Open and first appearance at the Farmers since 2007. The notoriously clutch Ryder Cupper from England already has a solo second at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in the books this season. It began a string of four consecutive top 10s that includes a T4 at the Turkish Airlines Open and a runner-up finish at the DP World Tour Championship. In addition to his flare inside the ropes, you'll soon be able to hear his candor on a regular basis on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio where he'll be hosting his own show.
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano ... Often seen written as "Fdez-Castano" due to the inability of most platforms to spell out his name -- or simply GFC -- the Spaniard has been trending toward full-time status on the PGA TOUR for years. He finally secured it with a terrific 2013 during which he finished inside the top 125 in non-member earnings. He's since settled in south Florida for an all-in run in the U.S. The recent winner of the BMW Masters in China added a T4 at the Dunlop Phoenix and a solo fifth at the 30-man Nedbank Golf Challenge. He's not going to fill up the stats sheets, but he's a proven contender on difficult courses.
Hideto Tanihara ... A native of Japan hasn't won on the PGA TOUR since Shigeki Maruyama in 2003, but the 35-year-old Tanihara has the experience and the kind of current form that suggests that he could contend this week. The one-time PGA TOUR member (2005) is in the field at Torrey Pines thanks to a top 10 at the Sony Open in Hawaii where he led the field in strokes gained-putting. That comes as no surprise because he was the Japan Golf Tour's best putter in each of the last two seasons. The T8 at Waialae was merely the latest in a string of top 10s -- six in his last seven starts to be precise; the odd result out was a T13 -- so he's playing some of the best golf in a career that includes 10 victories on his home circuit.
Victor Dubuisson ...Get used to seeing the Frenchman and his surname in 2014. Pronounced dew-BWEE-sohn, the 23-year-old is making his U.S. debut at Torrey Pines. After cutting his teeth for a couple of years on the European Tour, he broke through for his first victory in a big way at the Turkish Airlines Open in November. That bumped him comfortably inside the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking to set up a full slate of the world's biggest tournaments this year. He validated the win with a solo third at the DP World Tour Championship, and then added top 10s in a pair of events in South Africa over the past several weeks. Time will determine whether this success has occurred too suddenly, but he'll be granted 12 starts plus THE PLAYERS Championship to flash his ware.
Fabian Gomez ... Cracked the field as an alternate on Monday. The Argentine has conditional status on the PGA TOUR in 2013-14 thanks primarily to a co-runner-up at the Puerto Rico Open last March. He was fully exempt in 2011 and 2013 but has just two top 10s in 49 career starts. After a T32 at the World Cup of Golf in late November, he emerged with a victory in an event in his homeland on the NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, a tournament he first won in 2008.