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The golf season continues to ramp up, as this week we head out to Torrey Pines in San Diego for the Farmers Insurance Open. The event, like last year, is publicized as the return of Tiger Woods, as Tiger is an 8-time winner at Torrey Pines despite missing the cut last year. Because of this, Draftings contests are considerably bigger, so this is a good week to get back to the golf grind.
As for the course, Torrey Pines features two courses: the north and the south, each playing as Par 72’s with 8 par 5’s in total. This is a similar set up to last week, as the Par 5’s will be crucial to scoring. Both courses also feature 10 Par 4’s from 450-500 yards, so approaches will typically come from the 150-175 yard range and good driving will be crucial for success. The south plays considerably harder than the north course, so keep that in mind when tracking your golfers.
The key stats this week will be Strokes Gained Off the Tee, Par 5 Birdie or Better, & Approaches from 150-175. While stats aren’t everything, they’re important to look at if you want to score at Torrey Pines. With this being said, let’s take a look at the picks.
Jon Rahm $11,800
I was overweight on Rahm last week in GPP’s and he won the event in a playoff, so it should have been a profitable week if you read the article. That said, Rahm comes into this event with a first, second, and first in his last three events, and won this event last week, so it’s the so-called, ‘perfect storm’ of current form and course history. He also crushes the stats too, ranking in the top half of approaches 150-175, 12th in Par 5 BoB, & 5th in Strokes Gained OTT. I’m playing Rahm in over 80% of my lineups this week, likely both cash and GPP, and suggest you do the same despite the high price.
Tony Finau $8,700
Finau has remarkably turned into one of the most consistent golfers on tour, as he hasn’t missed a cut since last year’s Players (In May). Known as a bomber who putts well in Poa Greens, Finau is a course here at Torrey Pines, finishing no worse than 24th in his three tries here with a 4th last year. His ownership will be high, but it’s warranted, as Finau fits the mold being 33rd in SG OTT, 5th in Par 5 BoB, and 23rd in SG 150-175. Load up on Finau in cash games and tournaments this week
Ollie Schinderjans $8,500
Pairing Ollie with Finau and/or Rahm is tough this week, but Ollie is another guy who I love this week. He comes in with good form, a 7th last time out, and had a top 10 last year in his second try at Torrey Pines. Known as a low-Apex player who bombs the golf ball, Ollie should love Torrey Pines, as he ranks 57th in SG 150-175, 49th in Par 5 BoB, & 75th in SG OTT. He’s more a GPP play than cash, but I could see Ollie win here as he’s been close to a win for a long time now.
Charles Howell III $8,300
CHIII grinded out another top 30 last week, as expected, and he is the true Torrey Pines course horse, as he’s never missed a cut here while finishing in the top 10 five times in the past twelve years. Howell doesn’t have great win equity, but that shouldn’t matter, as he has a history of doing well here. He’s also statically strong, ranking 34th in Par 5 BoB & 55th in SG 150-175, and I’ll likely be well overweight on him in cash and GPP’s.
Johnny Vegas $7,700
Vegas is another example of form and history coinciding, as he’s finished better than 28th in his last three starts here while coming in with a top 10 last week and 11th before. Vegas also fits the Torrey Pines mold, as he bombs it (Top 10 in tour in Driving Distance) while ranking 39th in SG OTT and 19th in Par 5 BoB. He’s a really good mid-range option this week, though likely high owned.
Kyle Stanley $7,400
Stanley may be the most underrated ball striker on the PGA tour, as he routinely ranks out high when it comes to strokes gained with his irons. His Achilles heel has always been his limp putter, but last time out he actually gained strokes putting en route to a Top 10 at the Sony. He has good history at Torrey Pines – oftentimes remembered for his 18th hole meltdown in 2012 which cost him the win – but despite this, he has Top 25’s in the last two years and ranks 16th in SG 150-175 and 7th in SG OTT. He’s a great cheaper option this week.
Charley Hoffman $7,200
Once again draftings dropped the ball with pricing this week, as Tiger Woods is 9700 and Charley Hoffman is 7200. This price is frankly asinine, as Hoffman ranks 15th in SG OTT, and 26th in BoB Par 5, stats for someone that should be 8K vs a measly 7200. Ownership will be high on Hoffman AND he’s playing with Tiger, things I’m not too excited about, but I’ll likely have plenty of Hoffman shares at this absurdly low price.
GPP Flyer: John Huh $7,500
Huh does not rank out well statically, but he has a good combination of history and form that you have to look for on weeks like this. He finished with a backdoor third last week at the Career Builder while featuring two top 10’s in the last 6 years at Torrey Pines, showcasing his upside. He’s not the flashiest of plays, but he should be very low owned on a week where ownership should clutter around the mid-priced players down low.
Fade: Tiger Woods $9,700
I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but don’t play Tiger this week. His price is pretty insane, and a win this week in Tiger’s book would probably be making the cut and not re-injuring his back. He’s someone that you shouldn’t consider this week, as the pressure will be high and he struggled mightily last year at this course.