PGA Tour: Farmers Insurance Open has some star power

Posted on Jan 25 2018 - 2:31pm by Cody Flavell
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Jon Rahm won last year’s Farmers Insurance Open and last week’s CareerBuilder Challenge. Can he repeat in both fashions? (Photo: Gregory Bull/Associated Press)

This weekend, the Farmers Insurance Open is the tournament on tap at Torrey Pines in California. The South Course will be played three times and will be Sunday’s course while the North Course will be played once.

Jon Rahm was the winner at the CareerBuilder Challenge last week and won the Farmers Insurance Open last year.

The Course

San Diego, California is where Torrey Pines is located and hosts tournaments annually including some majors over the years. It sits on hills and mountains and has a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.

It hosted the 2008 U.S Open when Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate dueled into a playoff after it couldn’t be decided in regulation.

Between the two courses, a 61 by Mark Brooks in 1990 remains the record low score for a round. Last year, the North Course played harder which is a reprieve for golfer’s as it is only being played once this weekend.

The Field/Feature Groups

*Note: Groups are the same but the times vary. Time listed is the players’ tee times for Thursday.

12:30 PM ET: Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele: Fowler will make his 2018 debut as he looks to build off his victory at the Hero World Challenge last November. Cantlay is ninth in the FedEx Cup rankings and won a tournament late in 2017 that he would love to add to at Torrey Pines. Schauffele, another San Diego native, won Rookie of the Year last year and had a win at the TOUR Championship.

12:40 PM ET: Phil Mickelson, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose:¬†Mickelson did not make the cut at last week’s CareerBuilder Challenge but he is also from San Diego so he has familiarity with the course. Matsuyama hasn’t been to noticeable on Tour in the past year but was very good in the Presidents Cup. Rose, the No. 10 in the FedEx Cup rankings, is very hot. He finished off last year with a couple wins on the European Tour. This group is one of the better groups on Thursday and Friday.

1:30 PM ET: Jon Rahm, Jason Day, Brandt Snedeker: Rahm is the hottest golfer on Tour with multiple high finishes dating back to last year, winning last week and being the defending champion at Torrey Pines last year. Day had a really off year last year and a win at Torrey Pines could jump-start him to becoming a premier golfer on Tour again. Snedeker has won twice at the Farmers Insurance Open so there’s no reason to believe he can’t contend.

1:40 PM ET:¬†Tiger Woods, Charley Hoffman, Patrick Reed: This will be Woods’ first official appearance on Tour since last year’s Farmers Insurance Open when he missed the cut. Hoffman is playing at his home course as he was born in San Diego so he looks to be as competitive as possible. Reed didn’t have a win last year and he will want to put a strong showing together this weekend.

Defending Champion

Jon Rahm was the winner at last year’s event. It was his first win on tour for the 23-year old Spaniard that looks to continue what seems like a promising young career.

Rahm’s 7-under 65 vaulted him up the leaderboard and allowed him to finish 13-under 275 on the weekend, three shots ahead of second place Charles Howell III.

Rahm won it with a beautiful eagle on 18.

”I never thought it was going to be for eagle from 60 feet,” Rahm said. “Especially at Torrey Pines, but the fact that it went in is just incredible. The emotion just overwhelmed me. But man, that was a satisfying feeling.”

News/Notes

  • Geoff Ogilvy, Justin Rose, and Mike Weir have all won at least eight times on Tour including a major. Tiger Woods has accomplished that at Torrey Pines alone.
  • The field has averaged just 50.24 percent of fairways hit at Torrey Pines over the past seven years.
  • Golfers will tee off on the North Course one day and the South Course on the opposite day Thursday and Friday. The remaining two rounds will be played on the South Course.
  • The course suits best to long hitters based on the names of the winners in recent years but course knowledge will also be a big help. Although, Rahm did come away with the victory last year.

Prediction

I correctly was able to pick Rahm last week and I am now 1-for-3 on the year. It’s tough to win on Tour in a back-to-back weekend which is why I will pick against Rahm and take Jason Day.

Day is still one of the better golfers in the world and just had a down year like all-star athletes do. This weekend is when he gets back on track.

As for Rahm, I think he will finish in the Top-5 and continue his hot streak. Woods has been very successful at the course and I expect a Top-15 finish for him, too.

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