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Farmers Insurance Open Course Preview and Odds: How to Tame Torrey Pines

With an elite field assembled for this week's Farmers Insurance Open, now is the time to check out the test that both the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines presents.
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Farmers Insurance Open Course Preview and Odds: How to Tame Torrey Pines

The Farmers Insurance Open is played on a two-course rotation at Torrey Pines, with both the North and South Course in use for the first 36-holes. Those that make the cut, play the final 36-holes at the longer, more difficult South Course.

With players teeing it up just once on the North Course, the primary focus should be the South Course this week. This course has also been used at the U.S. Open, as recently as 2021 where Jon Rahm won his first major and in 2008 before that when Tiger Woods famously won with an injured knee.

Below are details on the course, some potential correlations, and the leaders in stroke average in this event over the past ten years.

This information is here to assist you with your selections this week and is ideally used in a tie-breaker when deciding between picks. For key stats and trends, the favorites, and my selections please see my next preview.

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The Course(s)

Torrey Pines GC (South)

  • Length: 7,765 Yards
  • Par: Par 72
  • Greens: Poa Annua
  • Designer: William F. Bell (Rees Jones renovation, 2001, 2019)
  • Course Record: 62 - Tiger Woods (1999)

Torrey Pines GC (North)

  • Length: 7,258 Yards
  • Par: 72
  • Greens: Bentgrass
  • Designer: William F. Bell (Tom Wieskopf renovation, 2016)
  • Course Record: 61 - Mark Brooks (1990), Brandt Snedeker (2007). Since 2016 redesign: 62 Jon Rahm (2019), Ryan Palmer (2020)

Rees Jones was responsible for the major renovations at the South Course in both 2001 and 2009, shaping the course into what it is today. Both of his renovations were with U.S. Open's in mind, but his featured changes remain in this event.

Here are the other courses used over the past ten years on the PGA Tour and in the Majors, where Rees Jones has been involved:

  • East Lake GC - Used annually for the Tour Championship
  • Golf Club of Houston - Houston Open 2013-2020
  • Bethpage Black - 2009 U.S. Open, 2012 & 2016 The Barclays and the 2019 PGA Championship
  • Congressional Country Club (Blue) - 2012-2014 and 2016 The National
  • Baltusrol - 2016 PGA Championship
  • Bellerive Country Club - 2018 PGA Championship
  • Royal Montreal GC (Blue) - 2014 RBC Canadian Open

Has there been any crossover between these Rees Jones courses and Torrey Pines?

  • Jason Day won the 2015 renewal of this event and finished 2nd at the 2016 PGA Championship at Baltusrol.
  • Tiger Woods is an eight-time winner on the South Course and finished 2nd at the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive.
  • Jon Rahm won this event in 2017, won the 2021 U.S. Open on the South Course, and finished 4th in the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive.
  • Adam Scott made his debut in this event in 2019, finishing 2nd and backed that up with a 10th place finish in 2021. He finished 3rd at the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive.
  • J.B. Holmes won the 2015 Houston Open at GC of Houston and finished 2nd here in the same year.
  • Lanto Griffin won the last renewal of the Houston Open at GC of Houston (2019) and has two top-12 finishes at this event.
  • There have been multiple winners at both East Lake and at Torrey Pines. Jon Rahm most recently topped the "lowest gross" leaderboard at East Lake and won here back in 2017.
  • Tiger Woods (2012) and Justin Rose (2014) both won The National at Congressional and have both won this event (Woods 7 times, Rose once).

Correlating Courses & Events

RBC Canadian Open (Glen Abbey)

Please note, only performances at this event in 2008, 2009, 2013, and 2015-2018 are relevant to this trend. These renewals are the years it was played at Glen Abbey.

Given the quality of the names below, the winners themselves might not give you the biggest insight, as they can win anywhere. The reason to include it is there has been crossover in both events, so those that played well at Glen Abbey in the past may well be worth considering here, if in good form. With five leaderboards at this event to peruse since 2013, you may find a selection you like.

  • Tiger Woods won at Glen Abbey (2000) and is a seven-time winner of this event, plus won the 2008 U.S. Open.
  • Brandt Snedeker won at Glen Abbey (2013) and is a two-time winner of this event.
  • Jason Day won at Glen Abbey (2015) and is a two-time winner of this event.
  • Jhonattan Vegas is a two-time winner at Glen Abbey (2016, 2017) and finished T3 at this event in 2011.
  • Nathan Green was a surprise winner at Glen Abbey in 2009 and maybe even more surprisingly finished runner-up at this event in 2006. He lost to Tiger Woods in a playoff.
  • Bubba Watson won this event in 2011 and finished 2nd at Glen Abbey in 2015

Travelers Championship (TPC River Highlands)

While TPC River Highlands is a short, birdie-fest type course, it features small bent/poa mixed greens, which may be why we see some crossover, as the North Course features Bentgrass greens and the South Course features Poa Annua greens.

  • Bubba Watson is a three-time winner of the Travelers Championship and won this event in 2011.
  • Marc Leishman got his first PGA Tour win at the Travelers in 2012 and won this event in 2020.
  • Harris English won the Travelers Championship in 2021 and lost in a playoff here in 2015.
  • Kevin Streelman has a win (2014) and a 2nd (2020) at the Travelers Championship and finished 3rd in this event in 2016.
  • Scott Stallings won this event in 2014 and finished T6 at the Travelers in 2020.
  • J.B. Holmes has finished runner-up at both events.
  • John Rollins has finished runner-up at both events.
  • K.J. Choi has finished runner-up at both events.
  • Chris Riley finished runner-up at both events. Chris Riley's only win came at the Reno-Tahoe Open, an opposite-field event.
  • Graeme DeLaet finished T2 at this event in 2014 and had two top-4 finishes at the Travelers (2013 & 2015).
  • Beau Hossler has finished T2 (2018) and T10 (2021) at the Travelers Championship and finished T9 in this event in 2020. These account for three of just seven top-10's he's posted on the PGA Tour.

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Course Form (Past 10 Years, excluding U.S. Open)

Below is the Top-10 for adjusted scoring average over the past 10 years at this event:

  • Jon Rahm - 1-29-5-2-7
  • Ryan Palmer - 2-13-21-2
  • Tony Finau - 24-18-4-6-13-6-2
  • Justin Rose - 33-MC-MC-4-8-1-MC
  • Patrick Reed - 39-WD-23-13-6-1
  • Mark Leishman - 52-MC-2-27-MC-20-8-43-1-18
  • Adam Svensson - 35
  • Keegan Bradley - 22-MC-16-41-MC-4-5-35-16
  • Will Zalatoris - MC-7
  • Jason Day - 9-2-1-MC-MC-1-5-16-MC

Key Stats

  • SG: Ball Striking
  • SG: Around the Green
  • Proximity 175-200 Yards
  • Proximity 200+ Yards
  • Poa Annua Putting

The path to success here is all about accurate play with long irons, and being able to get up and down from around the greens, which will inevitably be missed over the weekend on the South Course. I also think you should look at a player's record on Poa Annua greens. The Bentgrass greens at the North Course are not as much of a concern, but Poa is an unpredictable surface that many don't like to putt on. Poa Annua greens are used at other California courses such as Pebble Beach and Riviera, which we will be seeing in the next few weeks on the PGA Tour and a players' record at those events may be worth investigating. The Memorial Tournament and the Travelers Championship also use a mix of Bent/Poa greens.

Farmers Insurance Open Odds

+800Jon Rahm
+1400Justin Thomas
+1700Xander Schauffele
+2100Hideki Matsuyama
+2200Bryson DeChambeau
+2200Daniel Berger
+2200Dustin Johnson
+2500Sam Burns
+3200Sungjae Im
+3300Tony Finau
+3400Scottie Scheffler
+3500Will Zalatoris
+3600Brooks Koepka
+4000Jordan Spieth

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Tom Jacobs is the host of the Lost Fore Words golf podcast and has been writing betting articles on golf for the past decade. Tom also co-hosts the DP World Tour Picks & Bets show on the Mayo Media Network, so has his finger on the pulse on all the major Tours. A long-suffering Nottingham Forest fan, Tom also enjoys watching Soccer at the weekend, and was delighted to see his Forest team win promotion this season!


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