Sleeper Picks: Farmers Insurance OpenJanuary 24, 2012
Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
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Note: Beginning in 2012, fantasy expert Rob Bolton will provide his list of sleeper picks for every tournament. This week, he focuses his below-the-radar selections for the Farmers Insurance Open.
Vijay Singh Hall of Famers can be sleepers, too. However, this is more of a reminder that he's coming off a fantastic year during which he posted four top fives and returned to the TOUR Championship after a two-year hiatus. In terms of his success at Torrey Pines, it's been limited to four top 25s in seven starts, but that includes a T20 here a year ago.
Ryo Ishikawa First-timer at Torrey Pines. That he has two top 10s in 27 PGA TOUR starts is impressive given that he's still only 20 years of age, but his pedigree in his native Japan elevates our expectations in the U.S. He should enjoy launching it off the tee at Torrey Pines. His world-class touch around the greens will also come in handy.
Ryuji Imada Top 20s in four consecutive starts at this event from 2007-10. Missed the cut last year and enters with an MDF-MC start to 2012. However, aside from his win at TPC Sugar Loaf at the old AT&T Classic in 2008, he's played his best golf over the years at Torrey Pines.
Troy Matteson The tee-to-green specialist posted one of his two top 10s of 2011 at this event. En route to a share of ninth place, he ranked T9 in greens hit and T11 in putting. Also led the field with three eagles. Finished inside the top 25 here in 2007 and 2008.
Tom Gillis This streaky veteran overcame a fracture in his L4 vertebra last year that limited him to 19 starts. Yet, he managed to finish inside the top 125 on the money list. Arguably best known for leading the PGA TOUR in birdie average in 2010, he's fared relatively well at Torrey Pines, making all four of his cuts since 2003. His record includes a T11 in 2005 and T17 last year.
Garth Mulroy You'll excuse the South African is he wasn't pleased that 2011 came to an end. He won twice worldwide and became a dad for the second time in April. As a result of his sound play on the Sunshine Tour, he's already eligible for the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship and British Open. While he's started 2012 with three finishes outside the top 25 on the European Tour, he begins his U.S. schedule with renewed purpose as a Nationwide Tour grad