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      Sleeper Picks: Farmers Insurance Open

    • Ben Martin might have received a spark after a 65 last week at the Palmer Private course at Humana. (Pennington/Getty Images)Ben Martin might have received a spark after a 65 last week at the Palmer Private course at Humana. (Pennington/Getty Images)
    Matt Jones ... Rededication to the game prior to the 2013 season led to a career year and a finish of 32nd in FedExCup points. After a sketchy start to 2013-14, he found a groove at the Humana Challenge and tied for 13th for his fifth top 30 in as many appearances at that event. The Aussie has survived four of five cuts at Torrey Pines, including a T23 in 2008 and a solo fifth in 2009, his first two years on TOUR. Currently 14th in total driving, 39th in strokes gained-putting, 34th in the all-around and 46th in scrambling.  


    James Driscoll ... The PGA TOUR's leader in par-5 scoring average (4.33) faded to a T18 at the Humana Challenge with a even-par 72, but he's shown enough flashes early this season to warrant this spot. Overall he's ranks 54th in strokes gained-putting and 32nd in adjusted scoring. Still in his prime at 36 years of age, he's 6-for-7 at Torrey Pines, so he knows where to miss and from where he can score.  


    Russell Knox ... Steady as he goes. For most intents and purposes, he's picked up where he left off a following consistently sturdy 2013 on the PGA and Web.com Tours. A T13 at the Humana Challenge was a season-best among five cuts made in six starts. The Scot averaged 14 greens in regulation per round and ranked fourth in strokes gained-putting during his two loops of host Palmer Private. He's 13th on TOUR in ball-striking, T8 in proximity to the hole and 18th in adjusted scoring.  


    Ben Martin ... He hasn't yet parlayed an outstanding 2013 on the Web.com Tour into riches in his return to the PGA TOUR, but Torrey Pines sets up as a potential boon. The Clemson product tied for 25th in his only previous appearance at the Farmers Insurance Open in 2011. He ranked T2 in par-5 scoring average on the Web.com Tour last year -- always a valuable trait on par 72s -- and his tee-to-cup splits across the board this season are above average. He's just not scoring, evidenced by ranking T71 in greens in regulation but 134th in par breakers. While he missed the cut at last week's Humana Challenge, perhaps tying his career low with a bogey-free 65 at Palmer Private in the third round will serve as a spark.  


    Hudson Swafford ... Despite the wealth of experience often found on the final leaderboard at Torrey Pines, at least one rookie has finished inside the top 10 in the last four editions. Rickie Fowler (T5, 2010), Alex Prugh (T5, 2010), Jhonattan Vegas (T3, 2011), John Huh (T6, 2012) and Brad Fritsch (T9, 2013) are proof that first-time PGA TOUR members teeing it up at the Farmers Insurance Open for the first time cannot be categorically ruled out. After opening his rookie season 1-for-4 in the fall, Swafford hit the ground running this month, posting a T8 at Waialae and a T25 last week in La Quinta, Calif. He's 15th on TOUR in total driving, 17th in greens in regulation and T6 in par-5 scoring average.  
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