Tournament: Farmers Insurance Open
Date: Thurs-Sun, January 23rd-January 26th, 2014
Course: Torrey Pines (South Course), La Jolla, CA.
TV: Golf Channel Thurs.-Fri. 3-7 EST, CBS Sat. 3-6, Sun. 3-6:30 EST
by Tim, PGA Golf Handicapper, Predictem.com
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FINALLY weve arrived! The PGA TOUR west coast swing settles in at La Jolla, California neatly situated a few miles west of the 5 Freeway on a burp of land impeding into the Pacific Ocean. La Jolla is a Poor Mans version of Pebble Beach carrying a proximity very near cliffs edge overlooking the Pacific but offering no Pebble Beach views; only a discounted, smog layered, cliff falls snapshot of progress and La Jollas suburban sprawl. Torrey Pines is the 5th least Favorite Tour stop Course among Players. Dont sprinkle that fact to the local Chamber of Commerce; theyll turn on you faster than flippin an illegal alien bussing tables at a local hotspot! In fact, a day at La Jolla may appear to be a day atEl Segundo, The Bowery District in New York, or Earls Dip, South Carolina; the ocean view is congested and everything smells like fish! All the clowns, circus wagons, low scores, and side-shows (Bill Clinton) have climbed back underneath their Humana Challenge Rock making way for Tiger Woods Domination Road Show/West Coast Swing (the non-touchy type) to begin in earnest this Thursday! Tiger has won the Farmers Insurance/Buick/Shearson Lehman Brothers/Isuzu/Wickes/Andy Williams San Diego Open (different names for same event!) 7 times including last years -14 performance. Phil, Bubba, Tiger, and Billy Mayfair are all in the field (Billy Mayfair????? Carrying his case of Sunblock 450???) and ready to go (Mayfair42,39 Day 1, 39, 44 Day 2 missed cut). Lets take a look into this field and check out who has a great chance at a Top 10and who might Win!
Can Bubba win? Nope! Bubba hits it crooked and doesnt seem to really care about winning golf tournaments these days. Nicolas Colsaerts? Nowayhits it crooked and plays better on Private Courses. Yes, Torrey Pines South is a public courseWeekend Green Fees are $229 per player on the weekends and $183 per player during the weekalong with a $43 non-resident advanced booking fee (you have to have one!) putting the total at $272 per player weekends, $227 weekdays per playerand the PGA/USGA is wondering why theyre hemorrhaging players like water through the Titanics bulkheadyet theres almost a lovable innocence to this Grand Theft! Up the snooty road sits public course Pebble Beach at $495 per player plus cartunfortunately, unless you stay at one of Pebbles Resort Hotels (Cheapest: Spyglass Resort Hotel at $573 per nightno more than 2 people per room!), you cant book a Tee Time at Pebble Beach except one day in advance assuring you >>> you will not be able to book a Tee Time at Pebble Beach unless you stay at the Resort! OUTRAGEOUS! Pebble Beach is not a PUBLIC COURSE ANYMOREQuit Lying! Bethpage Black is the LAST, GREAT, Public Course in America! Ive played all three coursesPebble, Torrey Snippy Pines, and Bethpage—and Bethpage is a MANS Golf Course!! Torrey Pines South is gassed-up and ready to roll; lets find out who will charge into the lead this weekend!
Mickelson enters this tournament after firing a 63 in the third round at Abu Dhabi finishing in a tie for second with Nike Player Rory McIlroy and local Dhabi favorite Amir Abdul Alekesheema Da Da (kiddingno local favorite shot lower than Ahmed Almusharrekh 82-80 missed cut from Parts Unknown!). Tigerwell, 7 time Winner here? Nuff saidexcept: This Tournament will be the very first tournament in Tigers 2014 season (yes, he did play in a Fake-o tourney December 5, 2013). Tiger uses this tourney, the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and the Phoenix Open (its not Open, its closed) to tune up for Accenture Match Play World Championships (Accenture was Arthur Anderson but ENRON polluted that foreverchange your name-change your life!). In 2013, Tiger opened the season with a going-away win at Torrey Pines. Mickelson hasnt played at Torrey Pines since finishing 42nd in 2009. Patrick Reed will start in this tournament attempting to make it 2 in a row after winning last week at the Humana Punch, Pitch, and Putt Tournament. At the trophy ceremony, Reed wore more gaudy jewelry than the late, great, Ben Gazzara in the movie Roadhouse. Reeds chances are extremely unlikely since the final 2014 Humana Leaderboard saw Reed go 63, 63, 63, 71 suggesting Reed is a Thinker meaning-Soon to be off Tour; Hesitant; Pensive! Ryan Palmer closed HARD with a 63 following closely behind Zach Johnsons low final round of the field 62 landing Palmer 2nd and Johnson T-3rd. Bill Haas, Ben Crane, and Charlie Hoffman all had it going on at the Humana. Johnson and Palmer arent playing in the Humana this week. The rest of the contenders look to be Billy Horschel, Russell Henley, Jason Day, Jordan Speith, Scott Stallings, Roberto Castro (believe it or not?), and Bryce Molder. Torrey Pines South should make for gusting winds both into, and away from, the Players faces. At 7,700 yards long, were going to have to find the guys who can hit knockdowns with the best of them! The winds around Torrey Pines State Beach on Thursday and Friday will change direction from the practice rounds, and then change again for Saturday and Sunday. A veteran Player might be a good betunless he is trying to Dial In a particular shot to use later in the year. A good wind Player is essential and a very accurate Driver of the ball is absolutely essential with the majority of the holes bunkered left and right to catch wayward drives.
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Driving Accuracy spills the names; Billy Horschel, Ben Crane, Justin Hicks, Gary Woodland and Keegan Bradley jump out of the shadows in this Field when talking about statistical driving accuracy. Add in driving distance and we get, Keegan Bradley pretty much by himself. Of course Tiger and Phil must be included in this group. Total driving sees Keegan Bradley at the top of the list, followed closely by Gary Woodland, Kevin Chappel, and Charley Hoffman. The reason for the insistence upon total driving ability is: Torrey Pines South kills players Tee-to-Greennot on the green! This tournament is NOT a putting contest like the Humana. Virtually every hole must be attended by a power player that can hit it straight! Maybe this is why Zach Johnson chose to take a week off from competing? 260 yard drives at this Monsterand 2 irons into the Par 3swill get you 2 and done and not playing the weekend. You MUST bomb it here to have a chance and the shot MUST be straight! Players like Robert Garrigus, Hideki Matsuyama, Brendan Steele, and Ryo Ishikawa have a great shot at winning here (and should be considered in a Longshot option!) because they pound the crap outta the ball andon occasion, hit it straight! 10-12 Under usually wins this tournament. Finding the fellas that are used to playing 3 Under per day is a fabulous start to picking a champion! By contrast: Unless averaging 6 Under per round last week at the Humana got you into the final 16. In 2013 at Torrey Pines, Robert Garrigus was 6th, Jason Day was 9th, and Nick Watney finished T-4th . In 2014, the number will be about the same; 12-ish Under. Why mention Nick Watney? Because in the 300-320 yard driving range (the range one must be in to have a chance at Torrey Pines), Watney is tied with Keegan Bradley and Rickie Fowler hitting the fairway at that particular distance (300-320) 62.5% of the time this year! So, in a tiny bag, heres how I see the finish of the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open (its not an Open): Keegan Bradley, Nick Watney, Garrigus, Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, and Tiger Woods. Mix them up a little, pour on a little salt, and spill them onto the tableit should be a fantastic finish with Tiger choking down his Driver when he starts pushing High-Right on the back-9Tiger!! Damnit!! Lefty parks a few in the surf and tells us Im so stupid Watney/Day/Bradley are there to pick up the broken pieces and bag another non-Major! So let it be written; So let it be done!
Short Favorite: Nick Watney (40 Odds to 1 to Win)
Tiger and Phil are the easy picks here. But playing this Monster course will take more than a 2-wood (Mickelson) and one more start instead of the season-opener (Tiger). Yes, Tiger did it last year (opening with a win here) but You gotta Show Meand No; Im not from Missouri! Watney plays hard and gets it done!.
Middle of the Road: Jason Day (30 Odds to 1 to Win)
Jason Day is such a good player. He got it done in each of the four Majors and hes just spectacular since the 2012 Masters tourney. Day has every ounce of class, talent, and intelligence to win every single tournament he enters.
Longshot: Keegan Bradley (28 Odds to 1 to Win)
Bradley is on fire and has a chip on his shoulder; 2 attributes I look for when predicting. Keegan has always competed at EVERY tournament and every single shot. Bradley can win here.
Head to Head Matches *Picks to win based on final score after all four rounds. Check out your favorite online betting site for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.
Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson (our pick to win: Tiger Woods)
Phil is goofy. He adds a 2-wood, changes a Driver AFTER he wins the Open Championship! Mickelsons a head case and prone to mistakes. Tiger is aware each mother with a daughter in Majors. Why cant Tiger win Majors?? Is that really a question? Tiger cant win a Major because he got busted bustin a move on everything this side of the Yukon. Tiger also knows everybody understands thisexcept Sports Reporters and Commentators! He cant concentrate to his own unique physical abilities! Tiger was caught poppin melons all over the planethow doesnt this fact make it in Primetime? Now, Tigers messing around with the rules! Tigers head is friedbut not during these events. Tigerand Ill spot ya a Cabin in the Adirondacks.
Rickie Fowler vs. Nick Watney (our pick to win: Nick Watney)
Rickie hits it straight enough, far enough, and often enough to win any tournament. Rickies problem is his -Full wedgehe couldnt find the center of the green with his wedge on the range. The old saying goes, No wedgie, no Winnie! Watney in a close one.
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