January 22, 2014 at 3:19 PM #53104
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
2014 Farmers Insurance Open
Location: La Jolla, California, United States
Course: Torrey Pines Golf Course (North and South)
Date: Jan 23-26, 2014
Total Purse: US $ 6,100,000
Winner’s Share: US $ 1,098,000 (18% of total purse)
Defending Champion: Tiger Woods ($1,098,000)
The PGA Pros move to La Jolla California this week to play the Farmers Insurance Open – a tournament that Tiger Woods has absolutely owned in his career. Last year he hoisted his seventh trophy at this event by four strokes and it wasn’t even really that close.
This week small, tricky greens welcome the PGA’s best on the longest course on TOUR (Torrey North). Distance and accuracy off the tee are essential – fairways are notoriously hard to hit and scoring is always tough at this event. Making bank on the Par 5s is crucial and as always a Hot putter will certainly help.
So who are the names to watch this week – let`s take a look.
Tiger Woods 5/2
Woods owns Torrey Pines – 13 appearances here – 7 wins and five other top 10s with another win at the 2008 US Open. Woods tees it up for the first time in 2014 this week and is clearly, as always, the man to beat. In his 13 appearances he has three rounds over par!
Phil Mickelson 12/1
Phil has played here a staggering 24 times and has made the cut 19 times. He has three wins and six other top 3 finishes on this track and always seems to get a win early on during the West Coast swing. He is coming off a T2 in Abu Dhabi last week in a tournament he should have won. Current form and a solid history here have Phil the second choice in Vegas.
Brandt Snedeker 20/1
Sneds won this event in 2012 and also has two runner-up finishes in seven tries with a third and a ninth sprinkled in there. That’s four top 3s in seven starts here. He is just another in the long line of players with a superb history on this track that will be looking to knock Woods off his perch.
Bill Haas 22/1
Surprise – another guy with a good record on this track – just one missed cut in nine tries and top 10 finishes in each of the last three years. He seems to rise to the occasion on tougher tracks and his current form is very good (a top 10 last week at the Humana).
Jordan Spieth 28/1
Young gun definitely has the game to make things interesting here. He had a second at Kapalua three weeks ago but somehow followed that with a missed cut at the Sony. All the big names are out this week giving Spieth a good measuring stick for where he is at in his career.
Keegan Bradley 28/1
Has top 20 finishes in six straight TOUR events after a T18 last week at the Humana. He has been OK on this track – two top 25s in three starts here.
Bubba Watson 33/1
Won this tournament in 2011 and withdrew last year. He starts his 2014 campaign this week after a less-than-stellar 2013 but does so on a course he has fared very well at – that win and three other top 15s in seven starts including a T13 in 2012.
Hunter Mahan 33/1
Makes his 2014 debut on a track he has finished top 15 in his last three trips including two sixths. He last played at Thailand in December where he finished T13 but has been off the radar otherwise.
Jason Day 33/1
Makes his 2013-2014 debut this week and has the perfect game for Torrey Pines – distance off the tee, a terrific all-around game and a solid putter. He finished T9 here last year (his only top 30 in four starts at Torrey Pines) but does enter in good form – off a win at the World Cup of Golf. Day is a guy prime for a huge break-out season. That could kick off this week.
Jimmy Walker 33/1
Will be after his third win already in this wrap-around schedule – the last being at the Sony. He has a great history on this track as well – a T4 last year and a T8 in 2012. Walker is one of the second tier guys that could rise up and win it all – there is nobody in the world in better form.
Nick Watney 40/1
Watney returns to action after a couple of months away. At risk of sounding like a broken record – he has a great history here – a win in 2009 and five top 10s in nine trips to just two missed cuts. He is a terrific driver of the ball which should help him this week.
The Sleepers (50/1 or higher):
Charles Howell III 50/1
Has four top 10s already this season but is coming off a disappointing T58 at the Humana. He has played here 11 times and has made the cut in all with seven top 25s, five top 10s and a pair of runners-up finishes. He is certainly an intriguing 50/1 despite an awful week at the Humana.
Graham DeLaet 50/1
Has the perfect game to be at least competitive at Torrey Pines. He is a guy that should break through with his first win on TOUR this year and he did finish T9 here last year after missing the cut in his only other two appearances. He has been good so far this season – a T7 at the CIMB Classic and T6 at WGC-HSBC Champions.
Brian Stuard 66/1
Has finished inside the top 6 three times in a row – terrific form heading into this weekend.
I am staying away from the absolute obvious this week and going with a guy that comes at a better price. Brandt Snedeker at 20/1 has the game and the course history to make some noise this week.
My sleeper is Graham DeLaet at 50/1. His distance off the tee and his accuracy should serve him well – his stats line up almost perfectly with the nuances of this track.
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