The First Look: Farmers Insurance Open
January 19, 2020
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
Justin Rose wins at Farmers
Tiger Woods makes his first start of the calendar year – and takes his first crack at breaking the PGA TOUR’s all-time victories record -- at a place where he’s had plenty of success.
Woods is a seven-time winner of the Farmers Insurance Open. He also won the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. His eight victories at this course perched on the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean match his PGA TOUR record for most wins at one site. He has also won eight times at Bay Hill Club & Lodge, which hosts the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, and Firestone Golf Club, the former site of the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
Woods also is making his first official start since winning a record-tying 82nd title at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP and being a victorious player-captain at The Presidents Cup.
He’ll need to top a world-class field if he wants to break the record he shares with Sam Snead.
FIELD NOTES: Defending champion Justin Rose will make his first start of the calendar year. He last teed it up on the PGA TOUR at the WGC-HSBC Champions in November, finishing T28. Rose is coming off a second-place finish Sunday at the Singapore Open, where he finished three strokes behind Matt Kuchar. … Reigning FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy tees it up on TOUR first the first time since winning the WGC-HSBC Champions. He finished T3-1 in the two tournaments he played in the fall and took a six-week break over the holidays, returning to Northern Ireland. He is sixth in the FedExCup standings as he seeks to become the first three-time winner of the season-long competition.… Two-time Farmers Insurance Open winner Jason Day will make his return to the TOUR after having to withdraw from the Presidents Cup due to injury after receiving a captain’s pick… Rose, Day, and Woods are three of the eight past champions in the field including Brandt Snedeker, Scott Stallings, Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, and world No. 3 Jon Rahm.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 FedExCup points.
COURSE: Torrey Pines GC (South), 7,698 yards, par 72. A longtime PGA TOUR venue, the South Course at Torrey Pines received an upgrade from Rees Jones in 2001 to help secure the 2008 U.S. Open. The South Course recently underwent another renovation to prepare for next year’s U.S. Open. The North Course (7,258/72) also will be used for the first two rounds.
STORYLINES: Tiger Woods will be seeking a record-setting 83rd PGA TOUR victory at a course where he’s been winning since his junior days. … Some California connections at Torrey Pines next week include Xander Schauffele, who is from La Jolla and was in attendance when Woods sank his famous birdie putt on the 72nd hole of the 2008 U.S. Open. … Rickie Fowler, from Murrieta, has two top-10s at the Farmers Insurance Open but also has four missed cuts in 10 starts. … And of course, Phil Mickelson – who has won this tournament three times and was born in San Diego – will be playing his second event in a row after playing and hosting last week’s The American Express… Justin Rose looks to become the event’s fourth back-to-back champion. He’d join Woods, Mickelson, and J.C. Snead if he could manage to lift the trophy again… Rose was the first winner since Ben Crane in 2010 to start the week on the North Course. Winners from 2011-2018 all started on the South Course.
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, predating the Weiskopf redesign. South course record: 62, Tiger Woods (3rd round, 1999). Redesigned North record: 62, Jon Rahm (1st round, 2019).
LAST TIME: Despite a record-setting first round by past champion Jon Rahm, he couldn’t keep the momentum going through Sunday and Justin Rose took the title, finishing at 21 under for the week. He got off to a tough start Sunday, bogeying three of his first five holes, but he was 5 under for his final 12. But Rose eventually topped Adam Scott by two shots for his 10th PGA TOUR win. Hideki Matsuyama and Talor Gooch finished T3, while Rory McIlroy finished T5 alongside two past Farmers Insurance Open champions – Rahm and Jason Day.
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