The Farmers Insurance Open
Date: January 24-27, 2013
Course: Torrey Pines (North and South Course) La Jolla, CA
TV: The GOLF Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, PGA Golf Handicapper, Predictem.com
2013 is screaming along as we enter the fourth week on the PGA Tour and the pros stay in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open.This event can be looked at as the unofficial opener to the season as many players do not head to Hawaii every year and many others prefer not to start at a pro-am event like last weeks Humana Challenge.A good amount of the field will be teeing it up for the first time this season including Tiger Woods.Woods has owned Torrey Pines, especially when this event was called the Buick Championship, with six wins from 1999 to 2008.Phil Mickelson is a two-time champ at this event and is also in attendance to take on the strong field that includes 2010 champ Bubba Watson and defending champion Brandt Snedeker.The Qatar Masters is keeping many of the top Euros from participating here but this is traditionally one of the stronger fields of any non-major or WGC event.
Torrey Pines North and South both come into play this week with all players getting in one round at each venue prior to the cut.The South Course is used exclusively on the weekend and Torrey South is one of the toughest overall tests in the PGA Tour course rotation.The North measures just shy of 6,900 yards at par-72 and players will have to go low when they get their chance at this track as it is by far the easier of the two.Scores in the low sixties are commonplace and the leaderboard on Thursday will be mostly populated by North Course participants with a noticeable reversal come Friday when the other half of the field gets their chance.The South measures nearly 725 yards longer than the North and ranks as the longest course on Tour if played at full distance.Whatever the tee placement is, the South is very long and the greens become tough to hit and hold once the long irons come out.The longer players on Tour tend to have a distinct advantage but Snedeker broke that mold with a win last year but the shorter players will have to be dead-eye accurate into these smallish greens to get the most out of their rounds.
Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight a few players that we think are good bets to win it all.We make a short, middle and long odds pick to win and breakdown a couple of head to head matches that you can find at any golf sportsbook.Here are our picks for the 2013 Farmers Insurance Open.
Short Favorite:Dustin Johnson (14 to 1 odds to win)
You know the deal here.We dont tab Tiger to win. Ever.There is just no value in picking a guy at 4 or 5 to 1 odds and you really dont need me to tell you that I think hes going to win.For the record, he is a perennial loser as his typical win nets a 4 to 1 payoff and that requires a 5 win season to get back to even.Not bashing the guy, its just that the books clean up on people betting him.Ok, back to DJ.We know he is one of the longest players on Tour so the length at the South will not hold him back.Hes also got the TOC win under his belt already so he should be feeling pretty good about the shape of his game overall.Johnson finished 2012 ranked 2ndin par-5 birdies or better and that is exactly where most of the scoring will happen this week.Being crooked doesnt hurt you too bad at either course if your long enough so dont let Dustins fairways hit mark scare you off this week.
Middle of the Road: Keegan Bradley (25 to 1 odds to win)
25 to 1 is a great value for a guy that finished 2012 as the #1 ranked all around statistical player.Bradley is a solid overall talent and really has no fear since he grew up in the Tiger era.Hes plenty long to handle the South and his greens and fairways hit produce the 20thbest ballstriking mark.Keegans short game could use a little polish but he is smart enough to have worked on that in the offseason and an improvement in that stat should produce wins going forward in his career.Bradley is one of the more underrated putters on Tour and he can go low with the best of them when the flatstick is on.Look for a steady pace from him this week with a good look at the lead come Sunday.
Longshot: Nicolas Colsaerts (40 to 1 odds to win)
If you dont follow the Euro Tour past guys like Rory, Ernie and Sergio, you probably do not know what kind of talent Colsaerts has become.He led the EPGA in driving distance and hit an absurd amount of greens in 2012 as well.His putts per green in regulation would have been way above average on the American Tour as would most of his ballstriking stats.He is technically a rookie on Tour as this is his first year with a card but he has the experience of playing in Majors over that past few years and any player with Ryder Cup experience should be a threat to win on any Tour. There might be some growing pains as he tries to play a dual schedule and he will be seeing a lot of these courses for the first time but the talent is definitely there to produce a win and 40 to 1 will likely not be the odds he is getting this summer after he proves himself.
Head to Head Matches *Picks to win based on final score after all four rounds.Check with your favorite online bookie for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.
Jason Day (-115) v. Jeff Overton (-115) (our pick to win: Overton)
This is a great match on paper between two young stars that can simply bomb the ball but arent limited to just hitting it a long way.Both are strong overall talents that should be winning in the near future but look for Overton to have advantage this week as the more accurate player off the tee and into the greens.Jeffs 2012 rankings are ahead of Jasons in every meaningful category and he has shown improvement in the early going this year.Day will look to have a bounce back year of sorts as he didnt fulfill some very high expectations from last season but he doesnt look to be a good pick here.
Rickie Fowler (-130) v. Hunter Mahan (EVEN) (our pick to win: Mahan)
I found this match at Bovada.lv and was pretty surprised to see Mahan at even money to win.Mahan has let me down in the past but considering he hits it about the same distance as Fowler off the tee while hitting more fairways and greens looks to me like the book is over thinking this.I can see this as a -115 for both players but Mahan is one of the best ballstrikers on Tour and that will play out over the course of three rounds at the South.Fowler can tear up the North on one day but theres no saying that Hunter wont be right there with him and I dont think Rickie is set up to tame the South the rest of the way out.Even money is too good to pass here.