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January 25 2013

5:19 PM

Five for Friday: Farmers Insurance Open


Brandt Snedeker will need to rebound this weekend to buck a nasty trend for first-round leaders. (Dunn/Getty Images)

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

So many storylines: Tiger Woods trying to win for a seventh time at Torrey Pines (actually eighth, if you count his U.S. Open victory there); Charles Howell III off a third and second in his last two starts with 14 career runner-up finishes looming over him and in contention again; defending champion Brandt Snedeker trying to recover from a rocky second round.

More on that and what else to watch for in this week's Five For Friday to set you up for what should be a big boy weekend of golf.

1. This is Woods' 13th start in the Farmers Insurance Open. As mentioned, he's won six of them. The other six? He finished in the top 10 five times. He enters the weekend in contention again and that's where the story begins. Last year, Woods was second in scoring average before the cut. After it? He ranked 44th and 30th in third and fourth-round scoring, respectively. Will it be more of the same? The way he's hit the ball the first two days, it doesn't look like it.

2. One other thing to remember about Woods: He holds the South Course record, which he set in 1999 with a 62. That's a long time ago, but there's an awful lot to be said for horses for courses, especially when it comes to Woods, who has racked up multiple victories on the same course a handful of times.

3. Through the opening round, Brandt Snedeker had played 23 rounds at Torrey Pines in 52 under. He struggled Friday on Torrey's tougher South Course but he's been a regular near the top of the leaderboard there the last few years with three top 10s, including a win last year.

4. Last year, Mike Weir missed the cut in every one of his 14 starts. His road back from a tendon injury in his elbow has been a long one, but he's showing progress. After two more missed cuts to open this season, he'll finally be around for the rest of the weekend.

5. A little trivia (and some not-so-good history for Snedeker). Question: Who was the last first-round leader to win the Farmers Insurance Open? Answer: George Burns in 1987. He opened with a 63 and went on to win by four.

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