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January 18 2013

8:28 PM

First Look: Farmers Insurance Open

Tiger Woods will make his 2013 PGA TOUR debut at the Farmers Insurance Open. (Kinnaird/Getty Images)

By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

• COURSE: Torrey Pines GC (South), 7,698 yards, par 72. Laid out by William Bell in 1957 along cliffs fronting the Pacific Ocean, Torrey Pines has been home to the PGA TOUR’s annual San Diego visit since 1968. A 2001 upgrade by Rees Jones helped the course land the 2008 U.S. Open, and it remains the longest layout for any major championship. The format also calls for entrants to play Torrey Pines’ North course (7,045/72) in one of the first two rounds.

• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.

• CHARITY: The Century Club of San Diego, which is the primary supporter of the San Diego Junior Golf Association and a principal sponsor of the Pro Kids Golf Academy and San Diego-area Boys & Girls Clubs.

• FIELD WATCH: Tiger Woods, who customarily makes Torrey Pines his season debut, and Phil Mickelson again share the spotlight accompanied by six others from the current top 25 of the world rankings. Dustin Johnson, who won the wind-whipped Hyundai Tournament of Champions to start the year but was felled by the flu at the Sony Open in Hawaii, is part of that list along with Masters champion Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley.

• 72-HOLE RECORD: 266, George Burns (1987), Tiger Woods (1999).

• 18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Mark Brooks (2nd round, 1990) and Brandt Snedeker (1st round, 2007) at Torrey Pines North. South course record: 62, Tiger Woods (3rd round, 1999).

• LAST YEAR: Kyle Stanley’s heartbreak became Snedeker’s good fortune, winning a playoff after Stanley’s wet approach on the final hole of regulation triggered a triple bogey. Stanley appeared set to claim his first PGA TOUR victory as he came to the South’s par-5 closing hole, but spun his third shot back off the green and into the water – and a three-putt sent Snedeker racing to prepare for extra holes. After they matched birdies on a replay of No. 18, Snedeker’s birdie at the second playoff hole completed a comeback from seven shots back to start the day.

• STORYLINES: Woods resumes his quest for an eighth professional victory at Torrey Pines, but first since the epic 2008 U.S. Open when he outlasted Rocco Mediate in a 19-hole Monday playoff despite shredded knee ligaments. He’s also had a four-win streak on the course as a regular TOUR stop. … Last year’s victory gave Snedeker three consecutive top-10 finishes at Torrey Pines, including a tie for second in 2010. He’s been out of the top 10 just twice in six visits. … Stanley also returns to face his gremlins – joining Scott Stallings and Tommy Gainey as the only men to tee it up in each of the season’s first four events.

• SHORT CHIPS: Saturday once again is “University Day,” with Farmers Insurance rewarding the best third round with donations to the players’ college programs. Last year, Jonas Blixt’s 65 was worth $20,000 to Florida State’s golf team. Farmers also will give $500 to the golf program of any player wearing his school colors on Saturday. … Nicolas Colsaerts, who was part of Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team at Medinah, makes his first start as a PGA TOUR member. … Reigning U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox is in the field on a sponsor exemption.

• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-7 p.m. EST (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).

• SiriusXM PGA TOUR RADIO: Thursday-Friday, 1-7 p.m. EST. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday, 1-7 p.m.

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