Stay classy, San Diego
San Diego: Home of Ron Burgundy and this week’s PGA Tour event, the Farmers Insurance Open held at top muni Torrey Pines. Thursday and Friday rounds will use two courses, North and South, before moving exclusively to the South course for the weekend rounds. Torrey Pines has hosted the event since the mid-60’s (and is also home of the 2008 US Open and future 2021 US Open). Due to el niño (no not 18-year-old Sergio Garcia), Southern California’s drought has lifted and the rains have poured in, leading to long thick rough and adding another layer to one of the most challenging courses in the world.
The Farmers has been known to draw a great field, and this year is no different with 5 of the world’s top 10 in attendance. Headlined by defending champion and world number 2, Jason Day, the field also includes last week’s Abu Dhabi winner Rickie Fowler and fellow stars Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and hometown favorite Phil Mickelson. After last week’s birdie bonanza in Palm Springs, expect scores to go up as the South course stretches to nearly 7,700 yards.
Hardboiled Picks to Click
Stat of the week:
With Torrey Pines’ lengthy track, complex greens and this year’s long rough, a premium will be placed on ball-striking. Expect the winner to rank high in strokes gained tee to green.
Stud: Jason Day
DraftKings Salary: $12,000
This defending champion is one of the best ball strikers on tour since few hit it as far and straight as Day. Last year, Day ranked 5th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained tee to green, and he has finished in the top 10 at Torrey Pines the past 3 years. He may also have some extra motivation given the recent wins from his counterparts, Jordan
Sleeper: Greg Owen
DraftKings Salary: $6,600
The Englishman ranks 9th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained tee to green and has a proven track record of success at Torrey Pines, making the cut the past 4 years. He also finished in a T5th at this year’s Sony Open, another venue that places a premium on quality tee shots.
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Spieth stalling out.
Following his t5th in Abu Dhabi, Jordan Spieth suggested that fatigue from a heavy international schedule was taking a toll on his performance during the event. Since winning the British Open, Spieth’s schedule had him playing in England, Australia, China, Korea, the Bahamas, Abu Dhabi and this week in Singapore at the Singapore Open.
(Cue the world's smallest violin)
Spieth plans to take a few weeks off before starting his Masters prep, which will include two events he announced Tuesday: WGC Dell Match and the Shell Houston Open, both based in his home state of Texas.
European Tour stays in the Middle East
This week, the European Tour heads to Qatar for the CommercialBank Qatar Masters. While the field lacks the abundant star power of last week’s in Abu Dhabi, it will feature defending champion Branden Grace, Sergio Garcia (aka “el niño”), and former British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen.
LPGA and Web.com tee off 2016
A sure sign golf is in full swing is the start of the LPGA and Web.com seasons. Each tour is picking up popularity with Lydia Ko taking the women’s golf scene by storm and Web.com’s explosion of talented youth. Both tours start out south of the border with the ladies playing the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic and the Web.com kicking off at the Panama Claro Championship.
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