Farmers Insurance Open
Torrey Pines Golf Club, San Diego
South Course, 7,698 yards, Par 72, North Course (will be played on Thursday and Friday) 7,258, par 72
Defending champion: Jason Day. Defeated Thomas Bjorn in a Monday playoff finish winning on the first playoff hole with a birdie.
Last week: Adam Long, a 31 year old former Duke player, shot 65 on Sunday and sank a 13 foot birdie putt on 18 to defeat Phil Mickelson and Adam Hadwin at the Desert Classic in La Quinta, CA. Pretty dramatic stuff from a player who had never won on the European, the Latin American or the Web.com tours. Amazing stuff..
Weather: Perfect, low to mid 70’s all weekend and sunny. Tough life for these PGA players this week.
TV: Thursday-Friday, Golf Channel, 2-6 PM CT; Saturday, GC, 12-1:45 PM CT, CBS, 2-5 PM CT; Sunday, Golf Channel, 12-1:45 PM CT, CBS, 2-5 PM CT.
The key holes are 13, and 16-18. No. 13 is a 614 par 5, in which you have to drive it 240 yards to carry the canyon and the Pacific. Not a huge challenge for the players, but some pressure. If the players decide to go for it in 2, they’ll need to carry it 260 yards as the green is elevated and protected by bunkers and rough in front. No. 16 is a 223 yard par 3. There are 3 bunkers on the left and a big bunker on the right surrounding the green. The wind will play a factor on this hole as the front is open but club selection will be important against a prevailing breeze. The winds will be 5-8 all weekend, so not a huge factor, but enough of a factor to get the players thinking carefully about what club to employ. No. 17 is a 442 yard par 4. Trees line both sides of the fairway off the tee. There is a bunker on the front right and the front left. Tiger Woods dramatically sank a bunker shot from the front left bunker in 2008 on the Saturday of his U.S. Open playoff victory over Rocco Mediate. He went on to eagle 18 from 30 feet that round. No. 18 is quite a famous hole on tour. It’s a 570 yard par 5. There are bunkers on both sides of the fairway off the tee. Players like to go for it if possible, but they have to clear the lake in front of the green. There have been some disasters like Bjorn’s second shot in his playoff last year with Day in which he seemingly had cleared the lake by a couple of feet only to have it bounce back in the water and ruin his chance of winning. Kyle Stanley had a colossal breakdown on 18 in 2012, triple bogeying the hole allowing Brandt Snedeker to win the tournament. Of course, Tiger birdied it in the 2008 U.S. to force an 18 hole playoff with Mediate on Monday which he won. Classic finishing hole.
Tiger Woods has won at Torrey 8 times including the U.S. in 2008. He won this event 4 straight years from 2005-08. He’s got momentum in a sense after winning the Tour Championship to close out the 207-18 season, but he hasn’t played a lot of competitive golf since, so there could be rust.
Super field with Woods, Day, who also won it in 2015, 2017 champion Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, Rory, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Patrick Reed, 2012 and ‘16 champion Snedeker and Adam Scott.
I was thinking Rahm, Reed or Rose, but I’m going with the 38 year old, 9 time PGA Tour champion and 2 time winner here. I’ll take my man from Vanderbilt University.
In a complicated world sometimes, this is a nice “easy” song.