Farmers Insurance Open
January 30, 2015
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
- January 30, 2015
- Iconic Torrey Pines Golf Club is the first stop of the PGA TOUR's California swing. (Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
FIELD LIST: Farmers Insurance Open
• 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, eventually won by Tiger Woods in an epic playoff over Rocco Mediate, and it remains the longest layout ever to stage a major championship. This week’s format also calls for entrants to play one of the first two rounds on Torrey Pines’ North course (7,052/72).
• 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. Funding has also been given to some 200 other local charities.
• FIELD WATCH: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, both still trying to knock off winter rust, come together again at a place where they’ve combined for 12 victories. Woods has eight wins in this event, plus one when the 2008 U.S. Open came to Torrey Pines. … World No.5 Justin Rose, making his U.S. start of 2015, heads a group of 13 players among the current top 25 in the world rankings. … Dustin Johnson ends his six-month hiatus from competition, since stepping away in August to deal with personal issues. He’s a father now, too, as fiancée Paulina Gretzky gave birth to a boy two weeks ago. Click here to see the complete field.
• 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: Stallings shook free from a five-way tie with his birdie at the par-5 18th, then watched as those behind stumbled down the stretch to walk away with his third PGA TOUR victory. Stallings’ 4-iron second shot barely cleared the water at “Devlin’s Billabong,” setting up a two-putt from 40 feet to take the lead. Gary Woodland had the best chance to catch Stallings, but double-bogeyed No.17 after hooking his drive into a canyon. K.J. Choi and Jason Day also bogeyed No.17 to render closing birdies futile, joining a five-way tie for second with Pat Perez, Marc Leishman and Graeme DeLaet. Neither Woods nor Mickelson made it to the final day – Woods missed the Saturday cut; Mickelson withdrew after Round 2 (back spasms).
• STORYLINES: Curiosity surrounds Johnson’s comeback, not seen competitively since missing the cut at last summer’s Canadian Open. He broke Tiger Woods’ course record at Sherwood CC with a 61 during a casual round in October, with future father-in-law Wayne Gretzky to attest. … Woods and Mickelson seek to rebound after rough Fridays at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, both missing the cut. Woods last was seen carding an 82 that was his worst as a pro; Mickelson went home after a 76. … FedExCup points leader Jimmy Walker and Humana Challenge winner Bill Haas are among five players seeking to become the season’s first two-time winner.
• SHORT CHIPS: Horschel, Fowler, Keegan Bradley and Ben Crane return after Friday’s round for the University Day Challenge, taking aim at a glass wall adorned with their alma maters’ logos. The winner will see $10,000 donated to his school’s golf team. … Though Mickelson is a three-time champion in his hometown, his last victory came in 2001. His best finish since then was runner-up in 2010 behind Ben Crane. … Nicholas Thompson is set for his 10th start of the young season, still yet to miss one that he’s been eligible to play.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
• RADIO: Thursday-Sunday, 1-7 p.m. ET (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.COM).