What a few months it’s been for Jon Rahm, with four wins in his last six starts, including last week’s AMEX. Now we move onto the Farmers Insurance Open and, as always, we’ve previewed the event and provided you with our suggested bets.
Farmers Insurance Open Tips
- 2.5ui Will Zalatoris – each way (1/5 8 places) – 14/1
- 1.5u Hideki Matsuyama – each way (1/5 8 places) – 28/1
- 0.5u Robby Shelton – each way (1/5 8 places) – 100/1
- 0.25u Doug Ghim – each way (1/5 8 places) – 200/1
The Farmers dates back to 1952 and was previously referred to as the San Diego Open right through until 1985.
The event had several other sponsors through the next 40 years, including Wickes, Isuzu and Buick, before settling on Farmers Insurance in 2010.
Initially, the San Diego Open bounced round several local courses, before starting its present relationship with Torrey Pines GC in La Jolla back in 1968.
The tournament has been won multiple times by former champions, including Tiger Woods (seven times), Phil Mickelson (three times), Tommy Bolt, Arnold Palmer, J.C. Snead, Tom Watson, Steve Pate, Brandt Snedeker and Jason Day (all twice).
Of those, only 2015 and 2018 champ, Jason Day (20/1) lines up this week.
Other previous winners teeing it up here include the defending champion Luke List (70/1), Justin Rose (45/1), Jon Rahm (4/1), Scott Stallings (90/1), Ben Crane (2000/1) and Nick Watney (750/1).
The total prize fund on offer this week is $8.7m, with a winners purse of $1.512m and 500 FedEx Cup points.
Unusually the Farmers is the only PGA Tour event that runs Wednesday to Saturday.
The event is split between the two courses at Torrey Pines: The North and South Courses. The first 36 holes are split between the two courses, with the last 36 holes played exclusively on the South Course.
|Torrey Pines North Course||72||7,258|
|Torrey Pines South Course||72||7,765|
The South Course is the longer, tougher and more prestigious course, hosting the US Open in 2021 and 2008, won respectively by Jon Rahm and Tiger Woods.
With only one round at the easier North Course, it is essential you go low on your solitary attempt there this week.
Both courses are wide open but the South course features fairways that are much harder to hit and some severe rough that can make an already long course, appear even longer.
The weather can also be a big factor here and if the Pacific Ocean winds blow, it can be a really tough task to hang on.
The field is, of course, led by Jon Rahm (4/1), who not only has won four times in his last six starts, is a previous winner here in 2017 and won the US Open here back in 2021.
His record here reads T3rd, T7th, W, 2nd, T5th, W. With all that in mind, it’s possibly a surprise he’s not even shorter in the betting.
Next up, we have Xander Schauffele (10/1), who finished 3rd at the Amex last week and another red hot player in Tony Finau (10/1).
Justin Thomas (12/1) and Collin Morikawa (16/1) come next in the field, followed by Will Zalatoris (14/1), who was runner up to List here last year.
Other notables include Sony Open winner Si Woo Kim (35/1) and J.B.Holmes (300/1), who is teeing it up on the PGA Tour for the first time since the 2021 Fortinet Championship.
I simply can’t bring myself to back Jon Rahm at such low odds, no matter if he’s clearly the best golfer on planet Earth right now. Instead I’m looking for a bit of value in the chasing pack and a couple of long shots.
2.5ui Will Zalatoris – each way (1/5 8 places) – 14/1
We start with Will Zalatoris who has only ventured out on tour twice in 2023, yet is a perfect 2/2. A T11 at Kapalua was followed by a T36th at the AMEX last week.
The 26-year-old had a superb 2022 season with his first win at the FedEx St. Jude, as well as three runner up finishes at this very event, the PGA Championship and the US Open.
Zalatoris has recently recovered from a back injury but his swing looks good and he should compete at the top end of the leaderboard, on a course he likes a lot.
1.5u Hideki Matsuyama – each way (1/5 8 places) – 28/1
Next up, we have Japanese sensation Hideki Matsuyama. The 30-year-old has had a solid if unspectacular start to 2023 with five of six cuts made, yet no Top 20’s.
Matsuyama followed a stellar 2021, where he won his first major, with a steady 2022, picking up his 8th PGA Tour win at the Sony Open.
The Masters champ has a good record at Torrey Pines, making the cut in seven of his nine visits, with a best of Tied 3rd back in 2019.
0.5u Robby Shelton – each way (1/5 8 places) – 100/1
Our first long-shot comes in the form of American Robby Shelton.
The 27-year-old has had an up and down career, proving too good for the Korn Ferry Tour but not good enough to compete on the full PGA Tour.
After earning his tour card again last season, he appears to be in a more consistent vein of form for his 3rd full season on tour and has only missed two cuts of nine starts so far in 2023.
An excellent T6th at the AMEX last week, showed he’s in really good nick and he is 2 from 2 at the farmers, finishing T16th two years ago.
0.25u Doug Ghim – each way (1/5 8 places) – 200/1
Lastly, I’ve gone for a bit of a punt on another American, Doug Ghim.
The 26-year-old looked like having a bright future, when he was the only amateur to make the cut at the Masters back in 2018 but has had a slow start to his PGA Tour career.
Ghim’s best results were a T6th at The Players last year and a T5th at the AMEX the year before.
He does however, have a pretty good record here, finishing T34, T37, MC and T20th.
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