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The First Look: Max Homa defends at Farmers Insurance Open

5 Min Read

The First Look

The Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) serves as the venue for the Farmers Insurance Open. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)

The Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) serves as the venue for the Farmers Insurance Open. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)

    The iconic Torrey Pines Golf Course once again plays host to the Farmers Insurance Open, which – for the third straight year – will be played from Wednesday through Saturday.

    A strong field will descend on Torrey Pines’ two courses, led by Max Homa, who returns to defend at Torrey after a two-shot victory last season – his fourth such triumph in his home state.

    The stunning scenery of Torrey Pines will also be the scene of the final opportunity to get a spot in the field for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am via the Aon Swing 5.

    With a major championship venue, a rock-solid field and something extra special at stake this week, there will be plenty of buzz for this year’s Farmers Insurance Open.

    Here’s everything you need to know.

    FIELD NOTES: Homa is back in action for the first time since The Sentry, where he finished T14. Homa’s win at Torrey Pines was his lone TOUR title last year, although he won the Nedbank Golf Challenge on the DP World Tour in November. He will be one of seven past champions teeing it up… Plenty of other TOUR members with hearty resumes and California ties are in the field including former FedExCup champ Patrick Cantlay, multi-time TOUR winner Xander Schauffele and Sahith Theegala, who broke through for his first TOUR win at the Fortinet Championship and finished T4 at Torrey Pines last year… Ryan Fox and Adrian Meronk will make their first starts as PGA TOUR members. Both Fox (fifth) and Meronk (fourth) earned their TOUR cards by finishing in the top 10 in the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai in 2023. This marks Meronk’s 15th overall start on TOUR and Fox’s 34th… Daniel Berger will tee it up for the second week in a row as he returns from an 18-month absence on TOUR due to injury. Berger last played Torrey Pines in 2022, where he finished 20th and finished T39 last week at The American Express in his return to action… Other notables in the field include Ludvig Åberg, who’s making his Farmers Insurance Open debut, Collin Morikawa, who finished third last year, Tony Finau, Shane Lowry, last year’s runner-up Keegan Bradley and another pair of TOUR winners on the comeback trail in Will Zalatoris and Gary WoodlandChristiaan Bezuidenhout, thanks to his runner-up result at The American Express, moved inside the Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10 after previously being unranked. Schauffele also moved from T13 to seventh in the standings after his T3 in La Quinta.

    World RankingFedExCup Standings
    5. Xander Schauffele5. Sahith Theegala
    6. Patrick Cantlay7. Xander Schauffele
    7. Max Homa8. Christiaan
    12. Collin Morikawa11. Sungjae Im
    13. Keegan Bradley12. Keegan Bradley
    17. Sepp Straka13. Collin Morikawa
    18. Jason Day14. Eric Cole
    19. Sahith Theegala16. Jason Day
    26. Tony Finau17. Harris English
    28. Sungjae ImT18. Akshay Bhatia

    SPONSOR EXEMPTIONS: Marcus Byrd, who won four times on the APGA Tour in 2023, returns to the PGA TOUR. Byrd won the APGA Farmers Insurance Invitational (an annual event that takes place in conjunction with the Farmers Insurance Open) and now is the first winner of that event to return to compete in the Famers Insurance Open on the PGA TOUR itself the following year… 23-year-old Japanese standout Taiga Semikawa will tee it up for the third time on TOUR in 2024. Semikawa finished T30 at the Sony Open in Hawaii but missed the cut at The American Express. He won twice on the Japan Golf Tour in 2022 as an amateur before turning pro and winning twice more on that circuit in 2023… Cameron Sisk will tee it up on TOUR for the second time, but this time in his hometown event. The San Diego native, who had a celebrated college career at Arizona State, played last season on PGA TOUR Canada and notched two top-10s, including a runner-up at the Windsor Championship… Other sponsor invites include Hayden Springer, Raul Pereda, Blaine Hale Jr., Trace Crowe and Nick Watney.

    SIGNATURE EVENT STORYLINES: This is the final event of the first Aon Swing 5 stretch of the season, with spots in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the second Signature Event of the season, on the line… Grayson Murray, who won the Sony Open, tops the list for now and already guaranteed himself a spot at Pebble Beach… Bezuidenhout, who finished runner-up to NickDunlap at The American Express, is in second… Justin Thomas withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open, but he accomplished the mission of getting into Pebble Beach after he jumped in the world ranking to No. 23 from 28. Even if he falls out of the Aon Swing 5 (he’s currently tied third), he’d still get in the field via his world-ranking number… Thomas is tied with Kevin Yu, who also tied for third at The American Express… Carl Yuan is on the bubble, about 20 points ahead of Michael Kim in the sixth spot. Matthieu Pavon and Keith Mitchell are separated by 0.1 point and about 25 points back of Yuan. All of Bezuidenhout, Yu, Yuan, Kim, Pavon and Mitchell are in the field at Torrey Pines… The Aon Next 10 is already confirmed via the standings from the FedExCup Fall… The 80-man field will be filled out with the highest available players from final 2023 FedExCup fall standings. Unlike other Signature Events, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am must have a guaranteed 80 participants because of the pro-am competition.

    FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 FedExCup points.

    COURSE: Torrey Pines GC (South), 7,765 yards, par 72; Torrey Pines GC (North), 7,258 yards, par 72.

    • Format: Golfers alternate between Torrey Pines’ North and South courses for the first two rounds. The final two rounds are played on the South Course.
    • South: Designed by William P. and William F. Bell in 1957, renovated by Rees Jones in 2001 and 2019. At 7,765 yards, the South Course was the longest on TOUR last year.
    • North: Designed by William P. and William F. Bell in 1957, renovated by Tom Weiskopf in 2016.

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

    18-HOLE RECORD: North Course record: 61, Mark Brooks (second round, 1990), Brandt Snedeker (first round, 2007).

    • Redesigned North Course record: 62, Jon Rahm (first round, 2019), Ryan Palmer (second round, 2020), Alex Smalley (second round, 2022), Adam Schenk (second round, 2022)
    • South Course record: 62, Tiger Woods (third round, 1999)

    LAST TIME: Homa won for the sixth time on the PGA TOUR, firing a 6-under 66 for a two-shot victory over Bradley. Homa trailed 54-hole leader Sam Burns by five shots but kept chipping away through the final round as Sam Ryder struggled to a 3-over 75. Homa went out in a 4-under 32 and despite a bogey on the par-4 14th, he closed with birdies on two of his final three holes to pull ahead for the win – his first since becoming a father. Morikawa finished alone in third, while Ryder, Sungjae Im and Theegala rounded out the top five.

    HOW TO FOLLOW (all times ET):


    • Wednesday-Thursday: 3-7 p.m. (Golf Channel)
    • Friday, 3-5 p.m. (Golf Channel), 5-8 p.m. (CBS)
    • Saturday, 2-4 p.m. (Golf Channel), 4-8 p.m. (CBS)

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