The Farmers Open Championship Predictions to Win
Dates: January 28-31,2016
Course: Torrey Pines (South) San Diego, CA
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, Golf Betting Analyst, Predictem.com
The recent snowstorms across the Midwest and East Coast served as a good reminder that there are a few more months before guys like you and me might be chasing that little white ball but at least we can watch a little golf this weekend as the PGA Tour continues its California Swing with the Farmers Open. Torrey Pines North and South are in play this weekend, and this landmark San Diego golf complex has been part of the PGA Tour since 1968. Phil Mickelson will get plenty of love as the hometown favorite and he is looking to shake a lengthy winless streak. Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose are among the bigger names in this field with Jason Day also in attendance to defend his 2015 Farmers title. The PGA season is just starting to ramp up in the new year with tournament fields getting deeper and more talented as all of the rookies, vets and international players start coming out of their off-season hibernations.
Players will alternate between Torrey North and South during the first two days, logging one round at each course before the cut. Weekend play moves exclusively to the monstrous South course and how low the players can go on the North layout will play a big factor in the cutline as well as the overall outcome. The North, measuring just a bit over 7,000 yards, routinely plays as one of the easier par-72 courses throughout the year, meaning players will need to take advantage of the scoring conditions here if they want to contend. The South, stretching out to nearly 7,700 yards, challenges players to hit countless good shots in order to just get pars that there is almost no way to make up big ground on the weekend. The South will surrender good scores to those that can hit greens regularly but the field average typically comes in at a bit more than a stroke over par while players average nearly two strokes under at the North. Navigating the tough greenside rough at the South is a key factor this week as well, giving the short game wizards on Tour a distinct advantage this week.
Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight the players that we think are the best bets to win. We give you a few picks to win the event and breakdown a couple of head-to-head matches that you can find at at 5Dimes Sportsbook, home of reduced juice sports betting! Here are our picks to win the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open.
Patrick Reed (20 to 1 odds to win)
Reed has put in a stellar start to his season with four made cuts in four starts, including a runner-up at the TOC as part of his three top-10 finishes. Reed has been solid off the tee, coming in at 28th in total driving and he adds the 11th best greens hit percentage to net the 8th best overall ballstriking rank. He has not putted well in terms of birdies made but he has been clutch with the par putts, converting 48-of-55 par saves on his missed greens. That kind of short game mastery will serve him well at Torrey South and he is certainly playing well enough to think that his game will score at the North also. I expect the same kind of gutty effort that Reed typically puts in and that will be a big positive while grinding it out on the weekend.
Jimmy Walker (25 to 1)
Over the last couple of seasons, Walker has gotten off to really fast starts, including multiple early season wins. Those wins are absent in late 2015/early 2016 but Jimmy is still logging quality work, finishing T8/T10/T13 in his last three starts. Walker was T7 here last year and he is one of the players in the field that is not bothered at all by the Souths length. Jimmy has been one of the best bombers on Tour over the last five years or so, averaging 301 yards off the tee last year and he enters the week a shade better than that at 304 yards this season. That gives him more and better looks into the greens and he has been able to average 4.75 birdies per round in 2016. The putter has been a bit off for Walker but he is still putting in those good finishes and he was 2nd in strokes gained-putting last season so it is just a matter of him putting all the pieces together.
Charles Howell III (40 to 1)
Im really running the risk of becoming a broken record as this is the third straight week that I am picking CHIII to win but hes been getting it done enough to think he can line it all up. He has been T13 and T11 in the last two events and has recorded all eight rounds at 69 or better. He hasnt missed a cut in any of his seven starts and has six top-25s. Quite simply, he is playing well and just needs to get a couple of breaks to push on through. Howell is 21st in driving distance and he puts that length to good use, netting the 33rd best GIR percentage. He is 35th in total putting and has converted enough to enter the week ranked 10th in scoring average. He is currently 27th in scrambling so he is sharp all over the stat sheet and you cant even think about winning at Torrey South if you have a glaring weakness.
Francesco Molinari (80 to 1)
It might look like Franky is off to a shaky start this season with a T45 average finish but he has managed to go an aggregate 19-under par in those events so it is hard to say he is struggling. Molinari has transitioned from being a WGC and Major Championship golfer only to one that plays much more in the U.S. and that familiarity and shortened travel schedule has helped his game overall. Francesco finished 2015 as the most accurate driver on Tour while hitting the 6th most greens. It is tough to find a better pure ballstriker on Tour and Molinari can play just about any course with those kind of accuracy stats. He isnt long by Tour standards and doesnt possess an advantage over the field on the greens but he is becoming more and more familiar with the American courses and it is only a matter of time before he reels off a couple of wins.
Picks to win matches based on predicted final score after all four rounds. Check with one of our recommended sportsbooks (Gold Bar very top of page) for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.
Dustin Johnson v. Justin Rose (pick to win: Rose)
Johnson was all over our TVs last year, nearly winning Majors and writing one of the best comeback campaigns in golf history. I give him a lot of credit for sorting out his life off the course and will probably always root for him to win but I think Rose is the better pick this week based on Roses better overall ballstriking. DJ is prolifically long but has been known to be wild and doesnt get the same kind of GIR% bump that a lot of big hitters do. Rose finds more fairways and greens on average and makes the same amount of birdies as DJ despite Johnson being the statistically better putter. I like guys that just get it done when the courses get tough and I think Rose is the better grinder of these two and will come away with a head-to-head win in what should be just a one or two stroke match.
Keegan Bradley v. Hunter Mahan (pick to win: Bradley)
Sometimes, like the match above, you have to pick between two players that are threats to contend. Some, like this match, you get to choose between two that might miss the cut. Neither player has been lighting it up so far and get this each enters the week ranked outside the top-200 in strokes gained-putting. For two PGA Tour winners, that is almost unheard of and it just goes to show that even the best can get off to clunky starts. I really dont expect either of these guys to do much until they shake whatever rust they have on them but Bradley owns big tee-to-green advantages over Mahan and that will be a factor this week. Keegan is 160 places better than Hunter in greens hit and 140 spots better in fairways. Im not sure Ive seen a bigger ballstriking disparity in a head-to-head as Bradley enters the week 9th with Mahan at 184th. You could write that off as nearly meaningless if all four rounds were at the North this week but the South might eat Mahan alive and send him home early. If Bradley can just make the cut, I see him cruising in this match.
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