The Farmers Insurance Open is such an interesting golf tournament. The two tracks at Torrey Pines are extremely different and a lot of shorter hitters don’t even concern themselves with the event because the South Course is such a behemoth at more than 7,700 yards.
Those that want to play in the US Open won’t really have a choice, but it seems as though more than a handful of players have decided not to tee it up this week in San Diego. There are some excellent players that opted to go to the Middle East and play in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic instead.
So, we could have a better field here for the Farmers, but we still have a lot of quality players. We don’t have seven-time champion Tiger Woods after another back surgery, but one back is better and that belongs to Jon Rahm. Rahm withdrew from last week’s The American Express to play this week in the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rahm is the +710 favorite per the fine folks at DraftKings Sportsbook. Rory McIlroy is +875 and the clear second choice ahead of San Diego State product Xander Schauffele at +1200 and then Tony Finau at +1700. We’ve got a lot more of a spread in the 30/1 to 50/1 range this week because we’re missing some of the usual top guys like Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson, and Collin Morikawa. Morikawa is among those playing in Dubai.
Two different courses are in play this week. The Torrey Pines South Course will be played for 54 of the 72 holes and any of the playoff holes for any player that makes the cut. The North Course will be used by each player for one 18-hole round on either Thursday or Friday.
Wind can be a factor on both courses. The South Course is around 500 yards longer than the north course, which is why there are some players that simply don’t bother with this event. A lot of guys on Tour hit it long nowadays, but not everybody. That’s why guys like Zach Johnson and Chez Reavie aren’t in the field this week.
All of the players in the field will be looking for a big pay day and a paycheck, but with Torrey Pines also being the site of the US Open, that seems to have brought back a few players. Brooks Koepka is +3600 in his first Torrey Pines start since 2017. Bubba Watson (+5000) played last year, perhaps with this year’s US Open in mind, and is here for a second straight year. He hasn’t played this event in consecutive years since 2011-12. He actually won in 2011. Jordan Spieth (+8500) is returning for his first 2021 event to tee it up this week. Louis Oosthuizen (+7000) is playing here for just the second time in the last decade.
When it comes to Torrey Pines, playing well off of the tee is essential. Putting well is always important, though the green complexes could play a little easier with some stronger pin placements down the line for the major. Approach shots are important because you have a lot of long irons and fairway woods into the longer holes.
As far as some picks to consider for this week, let’s look at Matthew Wolff at +3400. Short price here, but Wolff will tee it up for the second time at Torrey Pines. He was 21st last year. Wolff was 40th last week at PGA West, but he was able to shake off some rust after not having played in a couple of months. He’s a huge hitter that has been steadily improving all other facets of his game. If nothing else, he’s +400 for a top-10 finish and a great bet at +175 for a top-20 finish.
That is what makes golf betting so great at DraftKings. You can pick outright winners, but there are a ton of “Finish” props and other betting options. You can find a lot of different ways to attack your favorite picks. Only one player can win the tournament, but you can cash a lot of tickets betting other things.
Bubba Watson is a bit risky at +5000 because he hasn’t played in a long time, but he led the field in SG: Tee-to-Green last year en route to finishing sixth in his first start since 2014. He’s played really well here and he struck it well off the tee last year. Again, maybe not a guy to win, but group matchups and head-to-heads make a lot of sense.
Ryan Palmer at +5000 is another player on my radar this week. His top-five price is +1000 with +500 on a top-10 finish. He had one of those in 2018 when he was runner-up. He’s played well in each of his last three starts here.
Brandt Snedeker plays really well on the west coast. He’s not my pick, but him and Scott Stallings are the names that aren’t “household” among recent winners. Marc Leishman, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Jon Rahm, Tiger Woods, and Bubba Watson since 2011. It’s hard to take a long shot here. Big hitters have big upside with the long course and it’s just not an easy event to win without a big swing off the tee.
With that in mind, one long shot to consider is JB Holmes at +17500. This has been his best recent course. Holmes had three top-six finishes from 2015-18 and was 16th last year. He hasn’t played in more than three months, though, so it is a big ask.
Use all of the weapons at your disposal at DraftKings Sportsbook and find props and other ways to bet the Farmers Insurance Open.