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Farmers Insurance Open odds, preview, and course notes

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January 27th, 2021

The PGA Tour moves south to San Diego this weekend for the Farmers Insurance Open at famed Torrey Pines.  

The 156-player event will draw many of golf’s biggest names, including world No. 2 and tournament favorite, Jon Rahm (+600), as well as Rory McIlroy (+750), Xander Schauffele (+1200), and last week’s American Express winner Si Woo Kim (+3500).

Farmers Insurance Open 2021 Group A

Mon, February 1 2021, 12:00 AM

Rahm, Jon

+188

McIlroy, Rory

+275

Schauffele, Xander

+350

Finau, Tony

+500

English, Harris

+550

Rahm, who last finished seventh at the Tournament of Champions in January, won the Farmers, at 13-under, in 2017.

He’ll be joined by recent champions Marc Leishman (2020), Scott Stallings (2014), Bubba Watson (2011), and two-time winners Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker.  

Phil Mickelson (+11000) will enter the field as a huge longshot, even though he has won the Farmers three times (1993, 2000, 2001). "Lefty" missed the cut at the American Express last weekend, and hasn’t finished better than 44th during the 2020-2021 season.

The only player who has won the Farmers more than Mickelson is Tiger Woods, who achieved seven victories — including four straight — from 1999-2013. The 15-time major champion also won this tournament and the U.S. Open the same year both events were held at Torrey Pines, in 2008.

The U.S. Open will again return to Torrey Pines in 2021, but expect the layout to be far different from this weekend’s tournament.    

Farmers Insurance Open course layout and relevant statistics

Unlike the U.S. Open, which will take place solely on Torrey Pines' South Course, the Farmers will include one round on the par-72, 7,265-yard North Course.

The easier of the two courses, the North features bentgrass greens, 10 par 4s (ranging from 322 yards to 495), four par 3s in the 200-240 range, and four par 5s, between 520 and 560 yards.

On the South side, players confront a more difficult challenge, where length off the tee provides an advantage. The par 72, 7,765-yard layout is comprised of fast poa annua greens, four longer par 5s (which rank as the easiest holes on the course), four par 3s, and 10 par 4s (between 389 and 505 yards).

Seven of the par 4s measure more than 450 yards, and the 505-yard 12th is the most difficult on the course.

Driving distance, strokes gained approaching the green, and strokes gained putting on poa annua are all key statistics.

The past three winners also ranked in the top 10 in bogey avoidance and the top 12 in par 4 scoring at this event.

Best bets at Farmers Insurance Open

Coming off a fourth-place finish at the American Express, Tony Finau (+1800) is one to keep an eye on at Torrey Pines.

The 31-year-old Salt Lake City native ranks 27th in driving distance, 28th in strokes gained approaching the green, and 15th in birdie or better percentage.

He landed sixth at the Farmers last season and hasn’t finished worse than 24th in six appearances. His best performance was a fourth-place finish in 2017. He also finished sixth in 2018.

A longer shot to consider is Ryan Palmer (+5000). The 44-year-old last appeared at the Sony Open, where he landed 41st, but he has two fourth-place finishes, at the Tournament of Champions and Zozo Championship, this season.

He currently ranks first in birdie or better percentage, 15th in par 4 efficiency from 450-500 yards, 49th in strokes gained approaching the green, and 50th in driving distance. Palmer nearly won this event in 2018 but lost in a playoff to Day.

Another capable longshot is Sam Burns (+7000). The up-and-comer missed the cut last weekend, but he has posted two top 10s this season, at the Houston Open and Safeway Open.

Burns ranks fifth in driving distance, 29th in strokes gained approaching the green, 22nd in birdie or better percentage, and is tied for 25th in par 4 efficiency from 450-500 yards.

How to watch the Farmers Insurance Open

The winner of the Farmers Insurance Open will receive $1.35 million of a $7.5 million purse and 500 FedEx Cup points.

You can follow the tournament Thursday and Friday, 3-7 p.m. ET, and Saturday and Sunday, 1-3 p.m. ET, on the Golf Channel. CBS will provide live coverage from 3-6 p.m. ET Saturday and 3-6:30 p.m. ET Sunday.

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