We stay in California this week for The Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, continuing the west coast swing. This event is another multi-course ordeal where the venue, Torrey Pines, has a North and South Course. The players play a round at each course on Thursday and Friday, and both rounds on the weekend are at the South course.
We are going to continue focusing on form, with our strokes-gained stats coming secondary. As per the past two weeks, avoid guys coming off of a long layoff.
Courses: Torrey Pines North Course, 7,258 yards, par 72, Bent Grass Greens
Torrey Pines South Course, 7,698, par 72, Poa Annua Greens
Check the weather for the event.
L5 Winners/Winning Scores
John Rahm 2017 -13
Brandt Snedeker -6
Jason Day -9
Scott Stallings -9
Tiger Woods -14
Winning Score Average L5: -10.2
|John Rahm -13||20||305.8||120||58.66||3||1.54||2||0.935||17||0.535||50||423||80||0.07||49||0.274||7||23.56||14||14.32|
|Brandt Snedeker -6||75||292.6||113||58.69||51||0.518||94||0.032||76||0.176||101||430||18||0.31||33||0.343||32||21.41||25||14.92|
|Jason Day -6||3||313.7||162||55.94||5||1.52||3||0.772||25||0.461||136||435||18||0.287||6||0.586||1||27.08||1||12.11|
|Scott Stallings -9||23||300.4||155||56.04||149||-0.369||75||0.135||142||-0.221||43||418||162||-0.283||146||-0.305||145||18.13||162||19.66|
|Tiger Woods -14||49||293.2||69||62.5||2||1.637||127||-0.142||1||1.533||36||407||32||0.247||23||0.426||3||23.33||15||15.09|
Looking at the key stats, we clearly see the importance of driving distance, with it being the highest-correlated statistic. This makes sense, as guys who will contend this week will have to score well on the long par fives on the South Course. Although the fairways are fairly tight at the South Course, driving accuracy does not show up as something the last five winners excelled in. As far as strokes-gained stats go, we see SG tee-to-green and SG approach being the most common trait. In addition, birdie or better seems to be important, although the winning-score average of the last five winners is 10.2 under.
$11.8K John Rahm
I looked for every reason in the book to play a different player in the top three as my No. 1 guy, but all I can come up with is that he won last week, and guys tend not to win back to back. Also, we usually get shorter odds at a guy near $13K than 9-1 to win. Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama both have bad recent course history here, and Rahm won the event last year. The form, focus, and game all come together, having me believe we may see the first back-to-back winner of the year.
$8.6K Gary Woodland
He is long off of the tee, showed T2G form at the Sony Open being in the top 15, and has finished as high as 10th over the past five years, averaging 24th.
$8.5K Ollie Schneiderjans
Schneiderjans withdrew from the Career Builder after finishing seventh at the Sony Open, an event where he showed off his elite T2G skills. He has the distance to contend here and placed ninth in the event last year.
$7.9K Bud Cauley
Cauley was on fire getting to the greens last week – he was top 10 in SGT2G – but only finished 20th. He has as 13th-place finish here and is vastly underpriced with odds of 40-1 to win. He should be priced with Woodland and Schneiderjans. His distance off-the-tee is over 300 yards on average, and his ball striking is on point right now.
$7.4K Kyle Stanley
This guy gets no respect. He’s a great odds value at this price at 60-1 to win, a bomber, and a tee-to-green expert. He has finished as high as second here and showed form with a 10th-place finish at the Sony Open.
$7.7K Jhonattan Vegas
Have you noticed how hard I’m focusing on long drivers of the ball? There will not be a short hitter in these picks, and Vegas is the antithesis of that. Averaging 301.3 yards off-the-tee last year, he will have an opportunity to capitalize on the par fives. He is coming off of an 11th and seventh-place finish and has ended up as high as third in this tournament in the past.
$7.1K Billy Horschel
Horschel drives the ball far, averaging 300.1 yards in 2017, and is far underpriced if he can return to career form after a poor 2017 season. This is a guy who has won the Tour Championship and three other tournaments in the PGA. His approach game was on point at the tournament of champions, and that will be a key for success this week.
$6.8K Chesson Hadley
Hadley is an extremely talented young golfer who was reeling off top fives in the weak-field, early-season events, and this is a stronger field, but the price makes no sense. He is 100-1 to win in an area where guys are mostly 200-1 or more. He drives the ball over 300 yards, and all of his SG stats show reasonable form. He has upside in tournaments and helps you fit in some mid-range guys with John Rahm.