Torrey Pines GC, San Diego, California
This week, the PGA Tour travels to Torrey Pines for The Farmers Insurance Open. It sits on the coastal cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the community of La Jolla, just south of Torrey Pines State Reserve. There are two courses played here this week.
Both the North and South courses were designed by William F. Bell. The South Course was redesigned by Rees Jones in 2001, and is now 7,607 yard par 72. Since the late 1960s, Torrey Pines has hosted the Farmers Insurance Open. The tournament uses both courses for the first two rounds and the South Course for the final two rounds. It hosted the 2008 U.S. Open on the South Course, which was won by Tiger Woods in a playoff.
Here’s a more in depth look at the courses.
North Course 6,874 Yards, par 72
This is the easier of the two courses and roughly measures around 550 yards less than The South Course. It has four par 5’s, four par 3’s and 10 par fours. It is situated along the coastal cliffs of the Pacific Ocean and has a tendency to get a bit windy.
The fairways are a narrower and will be tricky to hit so driving accuracy will be a big plus. The greens on both courses are poa annua greens, which tends to get a bit bumpy as the day goes on so good poa annua putters will be worth considering.
South Course 7,607 Yards, par 72
The South Course is played in three of the four rounds and tends to be a lot more difficult than the North course. It has four par 5’s and four par 3’s and sits next to the pacific ocean and is also prone to windy conditions. The fairways here are a little wider and more forgiving than The North Course, but length and power will be required here, which will favour the bigger hitters in the field. There a more hazards guarding the greens so good scramblers could also be worth considering.
The main stats that jump out at me here are, good poa annua putters, power, par 4 scoring, good current form and good previous form on this course. The total driving stat is also important, as missing the fairway can be extremely costly. There are a lot of slopes and greenside bunkers around the greens so good GIR and scrambling stats will be required.
Jason Day 7/1
The Aussie is a very worthy favourite and comes here in superb form. He has taken the last couple of weeks off but started 2016 with a very respectable T10 at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He opened with a 70 In round one followed by a 73 in round 2 but really got going over the weekend shooting 69,65 over the weekend to finish 15 under for the tournament. He finished the season off in style with four wins in his last eight events. After a T9 at The US Open and a T4 at The Open, Day went on to win The Canadian Open, PGA Championship, The Barclays and The BMW.
He has a great record around Torrey Pines with a win here last year, second in 2014 and a ninth place finish in 2013. Day ticks all the statistical boxes here ranking third in driving distance, seventh in GIR, fifth in strokes gained tee to green and sixth in strokes gained putting. He showed superb dominance at the end of last season and if he brings that good form here this week, he will be hard to beat.
Brandt Snedeker 18/1
Sneds started the season off with a respectable T17 at The Frys finishing 10 under for the week. He then followed that with a win at The Franklin Templeton Shootout with playing partner Jason Dufner, who had a superb win on Sunday in California beating Swede David Lingmerth in a playoff. Sneds followed the win with a T3 at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions, which included two 67’s and a 65 in round 3. He took that momentum into the Sony Open where he played very solid all week shooting a 63 in round one and followed that with a 65,66,66 to finish 20 under for the tournament. He got into a playoff Fabien Gomez but was just pipped at the post.
He has played well here in the past with a T19 last year, second in 2013, a win in 2012, T9 in 2011 and another second in 2010. Snedeker is hitting it an average of just under 300 yards off the tee and ranks 12th in strokes gained putting. He also ranks 10th in par 4 scoring and 23rd in scrambling. Sneds came close to a win at The Sony and looks to be in fine form to contend here on a course he has played so well on in the past.
Jimmy Walker 30/1
Walker looked to be back showing some good consistency at The Sony shooting 69,68,65,66 to finish 12 under and T13 for the tournament. He also had a good week in Kapalua finishing T10, which included a superb 64 in round three. At The Hero World Challenge he had another top 10 shooting three rounds in the 60’s to finish T8 for the week and was also a member of the winning Presidents Cup team in Korea in September.
He has played well here over the years finishing T7 last year, T4 in 2013, T8 in 2012 and T29 in 2011. Statswise he ranks 27th in driving distance hitting it an average of 304 yards off the tee and ranks 22nd in par 4 scoring and 30th in par 5 scoring. Walker showed encouraging signs at The Sony and could be one to watch here.
J.B Holmes 45/1
J.B has been playing good golf over the last few months and comes here this week after a decent performance in Kapalua finishing a respectable T24 at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He was showing signs of good form back in December with a T8 at The Hero World Challenge and a T12 at The Franklin Templeton Shootout. He finished off the season in style with a T4 at The BMW Championship, a T8 at The Tour Championship at East Lake and was part of the winning Presidents Cup Team.
Holmes came close to a win here last year but was beaten by Jason Day on the second playoff hole but played solid all week and finished 9 under for the tournament, which included two rounds in the 60’s. As well as finishing P2 last year, he has two top 30’s here finishing T23 in 2014 and T27 in 2010. Last season he ranked fifth in driving distance averaging 309 off the tee and ranked 19th in strokes gained tee to green and 19th in par 5 scoring. He seems to like this course and with his length he will have a huge advantage.
Jamie Lovemark 60/1
The young American is playing some great golf at the moment with four top 15’s in his last six starts. His good form began back at The Shriners Open in Vegas where he finished T13 on 11 under for the tournament, which included a 66 in round three and a 68 in round four. He followed that with a T9 at The RSM Classic, which included four rounds in the 60’s, T7 at the Sony, which included another four rounds in the 60’s, and a T6 last week at The Career Builder Challenge in California finishing T6, which also included three 65’s in the first three rounds.
Lovemark has played here once before finishing T28 in 2014 which would have been a hell of a lot better if it weren’t for a disappointing 76 in round 3. He ticks a lot of boxes statistically here averaging 311 off the tee ranking 11th in driving distance. He also ranks 30th in strokes gained tee to green, 25th in scrambling, 33rd in par 4 scoring and 36th in par 5 scoring. At 66/1 he looks a great each way shout here.
Final Selections –
Jason Day 7/1 2pts EW
Brandt Snedeker 18/1 2pts EW
Jimmy Walker 30/1 1pt EW
J.B. Holmes 45/1 1pt EW
Jamie Lovemark 60/1 1pt EW
Total staked = 14 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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