Farmers Insurance Open - Winner

We head to the 2021 US Open venue this week for this years edition of the Farmers where the players play three rounds on the South Course and one on the North. The South course can bear its teeth on its day and those who have tamed it in the past tend to be big hitting types who bomb and gouge their way to success here. Last years leaderboard backs that up with Leishman winning, Rahm second and Rory, Bubba and Finau all inside the top ten. Scott Stallings has been the only big outsider to win here in recent years with five of the last eight winners going down to post at sub 20/1. SG off the tee is a stat to look to here as well as those who putt well on Poa Annua surfaces. 

Adam Scott at 40/1 (6 places)

Some of the better prices about Adam Scott have disappeared but he looks an obvious contender here having finished runner up on his only trip here to Torrey Pines for the Farmers. The fact that he started his season in Hawaii was telling about his goals this year and he really played better in the Sentry than his result suggests. He ranked 3rd in the field in approach gaining nearly 7 strokes on the field. His work on and around the greens that week was abysmal. The Poa Annua surfaces at Torrey represent a better opportunity though for Scott as this is his favoured surface. He topped the approaching stats in 2019 here on way to his runner up spot and gained nearly 4 strokes on the greens. If ever there is an opportunity for his putting woes to be put aside it is here at Torrey. If his iron play is anywhere like where it was at the Sentry we should have a contender on our hands here.

1.5pts each-way A.Scott  40/1  (1/5 6)

Adam Scott - 1.5pts e/w @ 40/1

Matthew Wolff at 33/1 (8 places)

Matthew Wolff has become a big time player in the last twelve months and given he finished inside the top 25 here on debut last year I think he is worth playing. He shook off some rust last week at the Amex and should be coming here with high hopes given his record on these major tracks. He was second and fourth in the US Open and PGA last year on long tough tracks that primarily test how good your long game is. Torrey South should be right up his alley. As well as his win at the 3M Open he has a runner up at the Rocket Mortgage where he was chased down by Bryson on the final day. He looks very comfortable when mixing it with the best and I'd suggest he's even more likely to go well given a better calibre of field.

1.5pts each-way M.Wolff  33/1  (1/5 8)

Matthew Wolff - 1.5pts e/w @ 33/1

Hideki Matsuyama at 25/1 (8 places)

Hideki Matsuyama has been on my radar for a fair while now and despite not having landed a blow recently surely doesn't look far away from re-entering the winners enclosure. The Japanese star had a nightmare at the Sentry in all parts of his game but soon returned to the form of late 2020 when finishing inside the top 20 at the Sony. He topped the tee to green stats that week with once again the putter once again being the reason why he wasn't challenging for the title. We arrive at Torrey where he has found joy before on the greens and finished 3rd in 2019. There are right and wrong times to play some of these guys and this venue certainly opens up the opportunity for some of these more average putters to find success.

1.5pts each-way H.Matsuyama  25/1  (1/5 8)

Hideki Matsuyama - 1.5pts e/w @ 25/1

Gary Woodland at 66/1 (6 places)

Gary Woodland certainly looks worth chancing after bouncing back from some ropey form amid injuries to post a top 20 last week at the Amex. Again he slightly favours these Poa Annua greens but it is his long game that usually manages to shoot him into contention. Woodland on his day is a top class operator and having won at Pebble can be expected to go well once again on this coast. He has been 2nd and 3rd after round one here, leading after round 2, and leading after round 3 so he has had plenty of time in or around the lead here. Five top ten finishes here is as good as many towards the top of the betting and if the signs were last week that his game is back in decent shape he has every right to go well.

1pt each-way G.Woodland  66/1  (1/5 6)

Gary Woodland - 1pt e/w @ 66/1

Corey Conners at 66/1 (8 places)

I'll finish with two at slightly bigger prices. Corey Conners is another who has huge troubles with the putter but again is more likely to contend here on a week with Poa Annua greens. His long game is one of the most reliable among those further down the betting and there are signs that his putting may be coming together ever so slightly. He was going very well before the break with 8th at Zozo, Top 25s in Houston and Mexico as well 10th placed finishes at the RSM and the Masters. He had possibly reached a new level before the break and if he comes out with that sort of form again the setup should be perfect for him. A gamble of course that he putts well, which is a big gamble where the Candian is concerned.

1pt each-way C.Conners  66/1  (1/5 8)

Cory Conners - 1pt e/w @ 66/1

Carlos Ortiz at 100/1 (7 places)

Finally I think Carlos Ortiz is slightly overpriced. The Mexican now sits 54th in the world and went very well last time out shooting four healthy rounds in the 60s. He was impressive in the way he held off Dustin and Hideki in Houston for his maiden victory and he may be underestimated to repeat that feat again in illustrious company. Poa is where he gains most of his strokes on the greens and should he get into contention he has recent experience to count upon. Of the others Fritelli may hit the ground running again after strong finish to 2020. Hoffman has had his troubles around the greens lately but his long game is in excellent nick and it'd not surprise me should he contend this week. Kokrak is another to keep an eye on as he may just kick on after his win and a venue like this should suit his game.

1pt each-way C.Ortiz  100/1  (1/5 7)

Carlos Ortiz - 1pt e/w @ 100/1