The PGA Tour will take on a new look this week as the Farmers Insurance Open is scheduled to take place from Wednesday to Saturday. Not wanting them to compete with the NFL conference championships, golfers will be asked to complete their workweek one day earlier at Torrey Pines.
In another full-field event featuring multiple golf courses, a major-caliber type of event is set to take place in La Jolla, California. The Farmers Insurance Open has had a way of crowning very deserving champions, from Patrick Reed and Marc Leishman to Justin Rose, Jason Day and Jon Rahm.
That should surprise no one as Torrey Pines put on a new façade this past summer when it hosted the U.S. Open, won by Rahm, the current world No. 1. Multiple players such as Bryson DeChambeau, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler all had legitimate opportunities to claim the year’s third major on the back nine on Sunday.
When players such as those continuously contend in the Farmers Insurance Open or at Torrey Pines, you begin to take notice. This week will be vastly different from last week at The American Express, where we were lucky enough to cash a +20000 ticket on Hudson Swafford.
Someone from the top of the oddsboard will likely walk away with the Farmers Insurance Open trophy. Rahm is leading the way at Bovada at +750 odds and our odds calculator gives the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open winner and reigning U.S. Open champion an 11.76 percent chance to claim yet another title in Southern California. After last winning here seven months ago, it is safe to say the Spaniard is long overdue for a return to the winner’s circle.
What Happened In Last Year’s Farmers Insurance Open?
It was a highly controversial 2021 Farmers Insurance Open as Patrick Reed claimed his ninth title on the PGA Tour, winning by five strokes and finishing at 14 under. The former Masters champion ran into some troubles during the tournament, namely when it appeared he took an unsolicited drop for a ball he later claimed was embedded. The rules controversary took over the internet after Saturday’s play and still follows Reed to this day.
As for the actual play of the tournament, the key to Reed’s success was simple, as he took advantage of the North Course at Torrey Pines. With the first two rounds alternating between the easy North Course and the difficult South Course – the one that hosted the U.S. Open – players will see two completely different tests.
Reed opened with an 8-under 64 in Round 1 and was able to play his next three rounds on the South Course in 6 under. For comparison, runners-up Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele and Ryan Palmer all played the South Course in 7 under but were only able to sign for rounds of 2 under on their lone day on the North Course.
Because of this, while the majority of thought will be on the South Course, the North Course cannot be overlooked. A strong day of play can propel a player to victory or vice versa as we saw last year with Patrick Reed.
2022 Farmers Insurance Open Odds
|Si Woo Kim||+7500|
Odds as of January 25 at Bovada
Course And Analysis:
Torrey Pines South is not only one of the longest venues, but one of the most difficult that players travel to each year. Measuring 7,700 yards and in the thick air of Southern California, distance and an all-around game is needed to ensure scoring on this Rees Jones redesign.
As it showed in the U.S. Open, only the top players in the world have the skill set needed to contend on this par 72. With four par 5s on the property, par-5 scoring will be key as those four scoring opportunities will need to be taken advantage of. If able to play them in 8 under for the week, players will have a leg up on the competition.
Combine par-5 scoring with strong long iron play and a capable short game and it is easy to see why the North Course at Torrey Pines must be scored on. Only 7,300 yards and lacking any major water hazards, a score in the mid- to high 60s will be needed for a player to keep himself in the tournament.
Due to these various factors, a strong blend of birdie-making abilities and bogey avoidance is needed. Strong driving, capable iron play and a short game that can hold up to the test are the necessary ingredients for success at the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open.
2022 Farmers Insurance Open Expert Selections:
Sungjae Im (+2800)
Incoming form will be a common necessity when trying to identify a potential Farmers Insurance winner. No one has played more this year than Im, one of the few players to tee it up all four weeks of January. The South Korean first made noise at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, gaining strokes in every aspect of the game to finish in a tie for eighth at 24 under.
From there, it was a disappointing week at the Sony Open as expectations were high. Unable to make enough putts and recover from a poor opening round, Im missed out on the weekend. He got right back on the horse last week at the American Express, which was perhaps a blessing in disguise.
Leading the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, the 23-year-old ranked third in SG: Off-the-Tee, 10th in SG: Approach and ninth in SG: Around-the-Green to finish in a tie for 11th. If he is able to carry this type of play to San Diego, Im should once again contend.
Im, who is 4-for-4 on made cuts at Torrey Pines in his career, was in the mix last year, sitting just a few strokes off the lead before a back-nine score of 7-over 43. He arrives this season as a two-time winner, full of confidence and knowing his best can stack up with the game’s elite.
Talor Gooch (+5000)
Gooch, like Im, will have played four times in 2022 after this week is completed. Also like the South Korean, the American has looked strong while also experiencing a poor week of play. Beginning in Kapalua, Gooch finished in a tie for 15th on a course that I would not necessarily put in his wheelhouse.
After finding the top 30 at the Sony Open, the former Oklahoma State Cowboy appeared to have carried his fall form into 2022. However, that came to a screeching halt at PGA West last week when Gooch opened with a 3-over 75 and despite his best efforts – carding back-to-back 68s – missed his first cut of the 2021-22 season.
Now set to take to Torrey Pines, the 30-year-old has never missed the cut in La Jolla and even sniffed the title back in 2019 when he finished in a tie for third. A completely different player now, if Gooch is able to right the wrongs from last week on and around the greens, he should have a great chance to capture his second victory of the young season.
Max Homa (+6000)
Some players have a strange tendency of playing well in certain states, whether it is Florida, Texas or this week California. Homa would certainly fit this profile as two of his three career victories have occurred in the Golden State, including the first tournament of the 2021-22 season, the Fortinet Championship. Falling off a bit since, Homa will make his second start of the new year at Torrey Pines, where he has flashed brilliance before.
A top-10 result in 2020 and another nice showing last year gives me enough confidence to go to him despite last seeing him at the Tournament of Champions. Finishing in a tie for 15th, Homa struck the ball adequately and even putted well, although not on his native poa annua.
With his only struggles coming from around the green, the return to his home state should provide reassurance with wedges in hand. A strong par-5 player and a fantastic striker of the golf ball, if Homa is able to chip effectively, he should contend at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Joaquin Niemann (+7000)
Bucking our own trend of selecting those who have played this year, this is the first we will see of Niemann in 2022. While he did not have a fall to remember – in fact, he missed his final two cuts of 2021 – the upside of the 23-year-old is undeniable as his fullest potential has yet to be realized.
With only one victory to his name, it is only a matter of time before the young Chilean adds a second piece of hardware to his trophy case. An extremely strong driver of the golf ball and an underappreciated iron player, Niemann’s week will be reliant on his short game.
Now two months removed from his last start, the offseason leads to many unknowns. Many are attributed to players’ practice habits, routines, etc., but I am willing to suggest Niemann, as a young, hungry player, put in the work. If that’s the case, his name sticks out in this odds range as he is leaps and bounds more talented than those around him.
Keith Mitchell (+10000)
If this tournament or venue was in Florida, Mitchell’s number would be closer to +8000. A known Bermuda specialist, there is some hesitancy betting on the former Georgia Bulldog away from his native lands of the Southeast United States. However, his current form and the course fit are too good to pass on in this situation.
T-3 at the CJ Cup @ Summit, T-12 at The RSM Classic and T-7 in his last outing at the Sony Open, the 30-year-old has found something with his irons recently. Mitchell is a tremendous driver of the ball and a very underrated scrambler, and if this iron play continues, so should his success.
He has never had much fun on poa annua, but every trend is meant to be broken and Torrey Pines as a whole fits his game to a tee. If the putter cooperates, Mitchell provides an outside chance to get another long shot across the finish line.
Golf is unique for many reasons, but one of them is the significant number of betting props available at weekly tournaments. The Farmers Insurance Open is no different.
Sportsbooks are offering odds on things like whether there will be a hole-in-one, OVER/UNDERs on the winning score for the eventual champion and odds on which players from specific countries will have the lowest score, to name a few.
Like other sports, betting on props is a fun and unique way to enhance your golf gambling experience.
Live Betting is arguably one of the most exciting ways to bet on golf. If the player you placed a pre-tournament bet on is out of the running at any point during the Farmers Insurance Open, you can bet on another golfer as the days go by and have another stake in the game.
If there are only a few men in the hunt on the final day, the odds likely won’t be significantly high, but your chances of winning are. We’ve seen this happen multiple times in the PGA Tour’s Return to Golf, as multiple tournaments have gone to a playoff.
These helpful pages will assist you in handicapping your golf wagers:
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