That Snedeker was in position to capitalize was no surprise. In fact, he extended an 11-year trend among winners at Torrey Pines Golf Club; that is, each recorded at least one top 10 in a previous appearance. In fact, just two of the last 19 champs failed to post a top-10 before breaking through, but both logged a top-15 -- Davis Love III (1996 winner) finished T12 in 1995; Jose Maria Olazabal (2002 winner) placed T13 in 2001. Even Tiger Woods, who helps skew the data as a six-time champion during this stretch, tied for third in his debut in 1998 before winning his first in 1999.
Since 1968, both courses at Torrey Pines -- the North and the South, both par 72s -- have co-hosted this tournament. Each of the 156 in the field will play the North Course once before the 36-hole cut of low 70 and ties. Once that falls, only the South will be used for the final two rounds.
Taking it as low as possible on the North is a prerequisite. Snedeker shot 64 in the second round there last year. (Stanley opened with a 62 on the North.) Ben Crane and Bubba Watson turned in 65s en route their victories in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
Torrey South is more about course management and survival. In each of the last four years, its fairways have ranked inside the top 10 most difficult to find off the tee. That's not normally relevant, especially since the North Course is among the annual leaders in fewest fairways hit, but the South is capable of measuring a PGA TOUR-high 7,698 yards, which is 631 yards longer than the North. That means that golfers on the South are often wielding longer irons into greens that average just 5,800 square feet.
In two of the last three years, including 2012, the greens-in-regulation split on the South was just over two-thirds. In 2011, it landed at 61.47 percent. Throughout that inconsistency, scrambling has remained a challenge as Torrey South hasn't ranked lower than 11th in each of the last five years. It's a virtual coin flip to save par from off the green.
Gradually worsening weather conditions are expected. Thursday's high temperature will climb above 70 degrees, but it will struggle to hit 60 by Sunday. Rain will have crept into the forecast by then and winds may freshen as that energy approaches.