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Horses for Courses: Farmers Insurance Open

8 Min Read

Horses for Courses

Horses for Courses: Farmers Insurance Open

    Written by Mike Glasscott @MikeGlasscott

    All-time memorable moments on No. 18 at Torrey Pines

    After two weeks in Hawaii it's the second of three consecutive weeks in California as the TOUR moves from the Coachella Valley desert to the Pacific coast and La Jolla.

    RELATED: Five Things to Know: Torrey Pines | The First Look

    Since 1968 the TOUR has teed it up at Torrey Pines Golf Club on both the South (host) and North Courses to determine a winner. The South Course had a busy 2021 as it also hosted the US Open for the second time (2008). Jon Rahm, the 2017 Farmers champion, added his first major title here last June.

    As always the field of 156 will be split over the first two days on the South and North courses.

    As for something completely different, this year's event will tee off WEDNESDAY morning and conclude on SATURDAY afternoon. Be sure to remind your fantasy friends. Or don't if you need an advantage, ha!

    I'm not sure anyone will notice much of a difference between last June and this February on the South Course. Stretching to almost 7,800 yards the Par-72 not only is the length very real but for the first time in 2022 rough will be in play as well. The South Course annually ranks in the top 10 of most difficult fairways to hit annually as there is only 20 acres of fairway in play. Over-seeded Kikuyu grass (Rye) lingering just below four inches will gobble up offline tee balls and approaches providing difficult recovery conditions. The first time on Poa annua greens this season will leave players scratching their heads as putts wiggle and wobble on the way to the hole.

    The North Course was renovated by Tom Weiskopf after the 2016 edition. Playing only 7,258 yards to Par-72, these are the 18 holes to get ahead of the curve. The rough and tight driving conditions are similar to the South Course but there are only half of the bunkers on the North. The biggest differences are the greens and green complexes. Bentgrass greens here run true and smooth and at 6,000 square feet on average provide larger targets. Also the bunkering isn't as pronounced greenside and the targets don't have to be carried on the fly, allowing multiple types of recovery shots.

    The winner the last three years has opened on the North breaking a streak of eight consecutive winners who opened on the South. #TrendOrNotATrend?

    The South Course has played almost three shots harder than the North in recent times.

    Remember: Historical ShotLink data from this event ONLY comes from the South Course. It is the ONLY track that uses the laser measurement annually but we always get three rounds to evaluate.

    When the weather is perfect, scoring will follow. The cloudier, cooler and foggier the golf ball doesn't tend to go as far and any wind that isn't prevailing will make this behemoth play even harder and longer. Taking advantage of the Par-5 holes and hitting fairways and greens hit will ease the burden of judging nest-like Kikuyu lies on recovery shots and scrambles. There is rough and there will be bogeys!

    The field of 156 will compete for a purse of $8.4 million with the winner taking home $1.512 million plus 500 FedExCup points.

    Recent Event Winners Stats

    WinnerPatrick ReedMarc LeishmanJustin Rose
    Cut 1-under1-under3-under
    *South Course Only*
    All DrivesT57T3613
    Putting: Birdie or Better %111
    SG: Off-the-Tee31T4813
    SG: Approach-the-Green3955
    SG: Around-the-Green15616
    SG: Putting10128
    SG: Tee-to-Green12162
    Scrambling6T4 58
    Bogey AvoidanceT8T1T7
    Par-3 ScoringT37T1 1
    Par-4 Scoring12T12
    Par-5 ScoringT3T37T4

    Recent Winners

    2021 - Patrick Reed (-14, 274, +5000 to win)

    Picks up ninth TOUR win in 230 starts at 30 years of age. ... 50th top 10 on TOUR. ... Posted 68 from the final group to win by FIVE, largest margin of victory since Woods (8) in 2008. ... First USA winner since Brandt Snedeker 2016. ... Opened with 64 on the North to share the 18-hole lead. ... Becomes the first winner to share or lead after 18 holes since 1987. ... Trailed by one after 36 holes. ... Tied at 10-under after 54 holes. ... Third consecutive winner who started on the North Course. ... Noted short game artist led the field in SG: Around the Green and Birdie or Better Percentage on the greens. ... Only player double digits under par. ... T9 Fairways. ... Fourth consecutive season on TOUR with a win. ... MC The American Express and T21 Sentry TOC in his previous two starts but was on fire in late 2020. ... Knocked the trend out of the park as he was T6-T13-T23 in his previous three here.

    Notables in the field this week:

    Tony Finau (T2) T71 Fairways but his best finish in six starts. ... Henrik Norlander (T2) one of only two players to post both weekend rounds in the 60s. ... Ryan Palmer (T2) has either led, co-led or been one back after 36 holes three of the last four years. ... Local Xander Schauffele (T2) joined Norlander to post his first top 10 in six tries. ... Lanto Griffin (T7) T2 GIR and T12 on debut in 2018. ... 2017 winner Jon Rahm (T7) makes it four top 10 paychecks in five starts. ... Will Zalatoris (T7) was T74 Fairways but has never posted worse than 72 in six rounds at this event. ... Luke List (T10) T2 GIR and Birdies (21). ... Peter Malnati (T10) circled 20 birdies. ... Francesco Molinari (T10) T6 GIR and closed with 66. ... Sam Ryder (T10) T2 GIR and second in Proximity. ... Rory Sabbatini (T10) picked up his first top 10 in his last NINE appearances. ... Defending champion Marc Leishman (T18) added to his ridiculous amount of T27 or better finishes here. ... Alex Noren (T37) shared the first round lead as he matched Reed's 64 on the North Course. ... Carlos Ortiz (T29) played in the final group after 66 on Saturday and was tied to begin Round 4 with Reed yet posted 78. ... Sepp Straka (T32) fired 65 on Sunday, matching the best round of the week on the South Course. ... Only 19 bogey free rounds and just four on the weekend. ... Cut was 1-under. ... Lift, clean and replace Round 1. ... 73.340 scoring average, fourth most difficult on TOUR. ... North played 70.131. ... Weather was cool and cloudy.

    2020 - Marc Leishman (15-under, 273, +4000 to win)

    Collects his fifth win in 276th start at age 36. ... Set a personal best on the South Course with 65 on Sunday to win by a shot. ... Began the day four shots back. ... Only hit 3 of 14 Fairways but 14 of 18 GIR. ... Fourth consecutive international winner. ... Opened 68 on the North Course and trailed by two. ... Six back after 36 holes. ... Only winner in the last five T9 or better in SG: Putting as he led the field. ... Third winner of four with top five (5th) SG: Approach the Green. ... Co-led the field with only six bogeys and 21 birdies. ... T4 in his previous start at Sony. ... Won in his 12th start here and picked up his fifth top 10.

    Notables in the field this week:

    Jon Rahm (2nd) led after 54 holes after 65 in Round 3 but couldn't pick up his second victory in four tries. ... 2016 and 2012 champion Brandt Snedeker (T3) circled 20 birdies. ... Tom Hoge (5th) only made six bogeys. ... Tony Finau (T6) rode a hot putter as he was T4 Putts per GIR. ... Patrick Reed (T6) T9 GIR. ... Harry Higgs (T9) T4 GIR on debut. ... Charley Hoffman (T9) matched Leishman on Sunday with 65 and will make his 25th start this year. ... Max Homa (T9) first paycheck in four starts here. ... Patrick Rodgers (T9) T73 Fairways, T77 GIR but T1 Putting. ... Defending champ Justin Rose (MC) 70-75. ... Co first round leader Keegan Bradley (T19) picks up his sixth T25 or better from eight starts. ... Ryan Palmer (T21) led after 36 holes after 62 on the North Course. ... 20 bogey free rounds and just seven on the weekend. ... Cut was 1-under. ... Scoring Average of 72.534 ranked as seventh most difficult on TOUR. ... North played 70.514. ... Cloudy and cool most of the week.

    2019 - Justin Rose (21-under, 267, +6600 to win)

    10th TOUR victory in his 10th start at Torrey Pines. ... 38 years old in start No. 326 as he won by two. ... Becomes all-time victory leader for England on PGATOUR. ... Missed tying the tournament record by a shot. ... Equaled the 36 and 54 hole tournament records. ... Opened with 63 on the North and did not lead! ... First 54 hole winner since Woods in 2013. ... Only winner between 2021 and 2017 outside of T6 in Par-4 scoring (T12). ... 26 birdies led by three. ... Played at The American Express (T34) week prior. ... Win completed three straight (T8, T4) years in the top 10 here.

    Notables in the field this week:

    Talor Gooch (T3) circled 20 birdies and an eagle in his second start. ... Hideki Matsuyama (T3) cashed his only top 10 in eight (and counting) starts here. ... Defending and 2015 champion Jason Day (T5) has NOT finished worse than T16 since 2013. ... Jon Rahm (T5) opened with 62 on the North Course. ... Billy Horschel (8th) rolled in just over 300 feet of putts. ... Joel Dahmen (T9) T4 Fairways and T2 Total Putts. ... Gary Woodland (T9) closed with 66. ... Doug Ghim (T20) also posted 63 on the North Course in Round 1. ... 16 bogey free rounds with just one on the weekend. ... South Scoring Average 71.729 was the 18th most difficult on TOUR.

    Odds sourced on Monday, January 24 at 5 a.m. ET. For live odds visit betmgm.

    Key stat leaders

    Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.

    Strokes Gained: Tee to GreenPlayer
    1Jon Rahm
    4Justin Thomas
    6Keegan Bradley
    9Will Zalatoris
    11Brooks Koepka
    12Corey Conners
    14Daniel Berger
    15Hideki Matsuyama
    16Tony Finau
    17Xander Schauffele
    21Scottie Scheffler
    21Doug Ghim
    23Luke List
    24Charley Hoffman
    25Aaron Wise
    29Dustin Johnson
    31Jhonattan Vegas
    32Joaquin Niemann
    35Kyle Stanley
    37Jason Day
    39Sungjae Im
    40Kevin Streelman
    Strokes Gained: Around the GreenPlayer
    4Si Woo Kim
    6Jordan Spieth
    7Patrick Reed
    12Rickie Fowler
    15Jason Day
    15Dylan Frittelli
    17Camilo Villegas
    18Matt Jones
    20Tony Finau
    21Justin Thomas
    23Wyndham Clark
    27Alex Noren
    28Scottie Scheffler
    29Cameron Tringale
    31Bill Haas
    33Aaron Wise
    36John Huh
    39Hideki Matsuyama
    42Jon Rahm
    43Brandt Snedeker
    45Adam Hadwin
    48KH Lee
    49Brian Stuard
    50Robert Streb
    Bogey AvoidancePlayer
    1Jon Rahm
    3Daniel Berger
    8Cameron Tringale
    12Hank Lebioda
    13Sungjae Im
    14Justin Thomas
    18Brice Garnett
    21Emiliano Grillo
    23Doug Ghim
    24Will Zalatoris
    28Pat Perez
    30Kyle Stanley
    31Joaquin Niemann
    32Scott Stallings
    35Xander Schauffele
    38Corey Conners
    39Jason Day
    40Talor Gooch
    43Keegan Bradley
    43Patton Kizzire
    45Si Woo Kim
    46Brian Stuard
    46Maverick McNealy
    48Charley Hoffman
    49Doc Redman
    50James Hahn
    Top Finishers 2021 US OpenEntered This Week
    1Jon Rahm
    T4Brooks Koepka
    T7Daniel Berger
    T7Xander Schauffele
    T7Scottie Scheffler
    T13Francesco Molinari
    T15Mackenzie Hughes
    T15Kevin Streelman
    T15Matthew Wolff
    T19Dustin Johnson
    T19Patrick Reed
    T19Justin Thomas
    T19Jordan Spieth
    T26Hideki Matsuyama

    Horses for Courses

    Player (Starts/cuts made since 2016 event)Top 10s Top 25Most Recent (season)Notes
    Patrick Reed (6/6)24Win (2021)T6, T13, T23 three previous years
    Tony Finau (7/7)47T2 (2021)4 of the last five T6 or better; Nothing worse than T24 debut
    Ryan Palmer (6/8)24T2 (2021)T2 2018; last 4 best 4; worst is T21
    Xander Schauffele (2/6)12T2 (2021)T25 2019
    Henrik Norlander (2/5)11T2 (2021)T43 2019
    Lanto Griffin (2/3)12T7 (2021)T12 2018; MC 2020
    Jon Rahm (5/5)44T7 (2021)Winner 2017; 2nd 2020; T5 2019; US Open champion here 2021
    Will Zalatoris (1/2)11T7 (2021)72-72 MC in 2018; All 4 71 or better 2021
    Francesco Molinari (3/5)12T10 (2021)T14 2017
    Luke List (5/7)12T10 (2021)T12 2018; streak is 4 straight
    Rory Sabbatini (12/19)38T10 (2021)T24 or better in 4 of last 7 trips
    Sam Ryder (2/4)11T10 (2021)T43 2019
    Peter Malnati (1/5)11T10 (2021)Only round in 60s last year (66 SC Rd 1)
    Marc Leishman (11/13)57Win (2020)T2 2014, 2010; T8 2018; 9 of 11 paydays T27 or better
    Brandt Snedeker (13/15)89T3 (2020)Winner 2016, 2012; T9 2017; 2nd twice
    Tom Hoge (2/6)125th (2020)T12 2018
    Patrick Rodgers (2/6)22T9 (2020)T4 2017
    Charley Hoffman (13/24)34T9 (2020)T7 2014; WD last year
    Max Homa (2/5)12T9 (2020)T18 2021; Won Quail Hollow, Riviera
    Harry Higgs (2/2)11T9 (2020)T65 2021
    Justin Rose (7/11)35Win (2019)T8, T4 two years before; DNS 2021
    Hideki Matsuyama (6/8)13T3 (2019)Only top 10 in eight starts
    Talor Gooch (4/4)11T3 (2019)T36 next best
    Jason Day (8/12)56T5 (2019)Winner 2018, 2015; T2 2014
    Billy Horschel (7/11)238th (2019)T8 2016; MC-T68 last two
    Gary Woodland (11/12)25T9 (2019)T48-MC last two
    Joel Dahmen (2/4)11T9 (2019)T55-MC after; MC before
    Alex Noren (2/3)11P2 (2018)Lost playoff to Day; opened with 64 last year
    Keegan Bradley (8/10)265th (2018)T4 2017; T16, T35 last 2 visits
    CT Pan (3/4)11T2 (2017)Debut the best of the bunch
    Pat Perez (12/19)36T4 (2017)T2 2014; grew up at the course; T55 best in last 3 visits
    Robert Streb (5/8)13T9 (2017)MC last two
    JJ Spaun (3/5)12T9 (2017)T23 2018, T30 2020; SDSU grad
    Previous ChampionsTop 10sTop 25Most Recent (season)Notes
    Scott Stallings (5/10)23T2 (2015)Winner 2014; T25 2016; MC 3 of last 5; T43 best
    Phil Mickelson (23/31)10132 (2011)Winner 2014; T25 2016; 1 top 25 in his last nine
    Nick Watney (11/17)66T7 (2015)Winner 2009; 5 top 10s from '09-'13; T58 best in last six
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