Farmers Insurance Open Preview and Picks

By: Michael Alexander     Date: Feb 4, 2015

The PGA Tour returns to California with the Farmers Insurance Open from historic Torrey Pines in La Jolla. Last week, Brooks Koepka was able to hold off Bubba Watson, Ryan Palmer and Hideki Matsuyama to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open by one shot for his first tour victory. This week, 156 golfers will be eyeing the $6,300,000 purse in what is the biggest and most star studded field of the young PGA Tour season.

Torrey Pines North and South courses are the hosts for the 48th consecutive year and it really does not get much better than that. Torrey Pines is one of the few municipal courses on the schedule and still plays as one of the tougher stops on tour, namely the South course which is the sole course used on the weekend. The South ranked as the third hardest last year, the fourth straight year it has ranked 11th or lower in difficulty while the North was once again ranked much easier. Players see the South course three times compared to the North just once.

Scoring low on the North course is imperative because the South will not give in. The South Course is the longest course on Tour at 7,698 yards but that does not mean big hitters will dominate. Expereience is the biggest factor this week as a mix of small greens with Poa annua can cause havoc for many. Only the U.S. Open has gone longer than the Farmers in a first timer winning as you have to go back to 1957 when Arnold Palmer captured the tournament in his first trip here.

Scott Stallings took home the hardware and $1,098,000 as he won by a stroke over five other players. The favorite going in last year was Tiger Woods (+250) and he missed the Sunday cut and finished T80. This year, his odds are at +3,000 ( so we are seeing some value for once with Woods but after watching him play last week on Friday, he cannot be trusted to make the cut, let alone win.

Jason Day (+1,150) is making his first start since the Sony Open where he finished T17 which followed a T3 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. That T17 is his worst finish since The Open Championship last year as he has six T7 or better finishes. He was part of the group that tied for second at the Farmers last year which came after a T9 in 2013.

Rickie Fowler (+2,300) did not play great last week in Phoenix as he finished T46 but he closed 2014 with a T3 and a T6 which came after a brilliant season last year that saw him close with seven T9's or better in his last eight starts. Thursday at the Farmers has not been kind to him the last two years as he has opened with 77's but he was still able to finish T6 in 2013.

After missing the cut at the Humana, Brandt Snedeker (+2,300) came back with a T10 last week as his putter caught fire. That is good timing as he can be aggressive with the flat stick at Torrey because of the Poa and he certainly loves it here. Since 2010, he has a T2, T9, WIN, T2 and a missed cut which happened last year but he was not healthy and that is no longer the case.

Gary Woodland (+3,500) let us down last week with a missed cut in Phoenix but I will back him again this week as he was coming off a T3 at the Sony Open. He is a big hitter and while that always isn't the best asset here despite Torrey South being the longest course on tour, he has had success here by never missing a cut. A Sunday 74 pushed him to a T10 last year.

For someone who is playing solid and has had recent success here, Russell Knox (+8,000) is not getting very much respect. This will be his fourth straight start in 2015 and while he missed the cut at the Humana, he surrounded that with a T13 at the Sony and a T15 last week. He missed the cut at Torrey in his first stat here in 2012 but came back with a T10 last year.

Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at the Farmers Insurance Open - All for 1 Unit

Jason Day (+1,150)
Rickie Fowler (+2,300)
Brandt Snedeker (+2,300)
Gary Woodland (+3,500)
Russell Knox (+8,000)

2015 Record to date after 3 event: +14 Units

Hyundai Tournament of Champions -5 Units
Humana Challenge +24 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open -5 Units

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