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Sleeper Picks: Farmers Insurance Open

3 Min Read

Sleeper Picks


    Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf

    NOTE: Sleeper Picks did not appear in Rob’s Power Rankings, but each presents value for the bet specified.


    Aaron Rai (+10000) … Given that he’d be the shortest among four winners in 2024 says something about how this isn’t all that outlandish of an expectation. The 28-year-old from England has won all over the world, just not yet on the PGA TOUR. He came close in his debut at the Farmers Insurance Open in 2022 when he sat one back entering the finale and finished T6. His ball-striking alone always improves the likelihood to threaten, but especially when it’s rewarded as well as it is at Torrey Pines Golf Course. To wit, in his return last year, he co-led the field with a bogey-free, 8-under 64 on the North Course. In his last six starts of 2023, he recorded a trio of top-10s, including co-runner-up at the BMW PGA Championship.

    TOP 5

    Will Zalatoris (+800) … Invest in this kickback while you can because you know it won’t last for long. After a rough first round in his return to official competition at the Sony Open in Hawaii, he exited with a 1-under 69, and then connected sub-70s throughout the week in the Coachella Valley for a T34. Yes, the latter set was ubiquitous but there’s been little normal inside his ropes for quite a while, so that’s not as forgettable a finish as it presents. Torrey Pines has been classified as a bomber’s paradise, so it’s not too surprising that he and fellow putting-challenged and eventual champion Luke List found themselves settling the title in a playoff here just two years ago. Zalatoris is undergoing mechanical modifications to adapt to his back post-microdiscectomy, but the setup plays into his wheelhouse. Oh, and he’s also adapting to the long putter, which can only help.

    TOP 10

    Nicolai Højgaard (+400) … After Min Woo Lee splashed as a PGA TOUR member with a T21 at The American Express, it’s now the 22-year-old Dane’s turn to do the same at the Farmers. He’s the only other current member who qualified via the non-member Top 125 in 2022-23. It’s a tasty value for a talent who has a win, a solo second and a T7 in three of his last four starts worldwide going back two months. Now, he did scuffle on U.S. soil for most of 2023, but his pedigree demands a long leash for his upside.

    Nicolai Hojgaard chips-in for birdie at ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP

    TOP 20

    Taylor Moore(+350) … It doesn’t hurt that he finished T11 in his second appearance last year, but this endorsement leans more into the potential firepower that he presents on top of solid form over the last six months. Torrey Pines and the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort, host of the Valspar Championship where he broke through last year, aren’t natural comps except for their similar respects for par relative to their tests. That he prevailed at just 10-under 274 proved that he has the grit necessary to hang when the going gets tough.

    TOP 40

    Peter Malnati (+350) … Given the fact that he’s 122-for-253 in his career on the PGA TOUR, it’d be betting against the coin flip merely to make the cut, much less for this prop. However, in each of the last three completed seasons, the Farmers Insurance Open is the only tournament in which he’s hung up a top 25 in every edition. After a T10 in 2021, he added a T25 in 2022 and a T20 last year. If that’s not enough to get you to belly up to the window, then consider further that he went a combined 0-for-7 in the tournaments immediately ahead of each top-25, with respective missed cuts of one, two straight and four in a row.

    Odds were sourced on Jan. 23, 2024. For live odds, visit BetMGM.

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    Rob Bolton is a Golfbet columnist for the PGA TOUR. The Chicagoland native has been playing fantasy golf since 1994, so he was just waiting for the Internet to catch up with him. Follow Rob Bolton on Twitter.

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