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Farmer’s Insurance Open, US PGA Tour Golf > Preview

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Farmer’s Insurance Open, Torrey Pines, San Diego, California, Jan 24th-27th

The US tour is off and running well now and this is a superb tournament (previously the Buick Invitational) played over 2 courses; one really tough and one fairly easy – the North Course will be utilised for 1 of the first 2 rounds and players really need to be looking at shooting a 64 or better here if they can; it’s not a long course (6,900 yards approx) and you can go really low. The South Course (played over 3 rounds including both at the weekend) is the polar opposite, measuring over 7,600 yards at its longest and with narrow fairways and tight greens – scoring is way more difficult here and survival is sometimes the focus rather than shooting birdies

So, getting off to a flyer on the easy course and then driving it straight and scrambling well on the South are fairly important factors here. it’s also a tournament that debutants often struggle in – you usually get a winner who has played well here previously. Tiger and Micko dominate the previous winners list here with 7 and 3 wins respectively. Defending champ is Brandt Snedeker who shot -16 last year and came from a long way back to beat the unfortunate Kyle Stanley who blew a lead on the 18th (although he did bounce back the week after to his credit)

My picks for this are big names basically – those in form, who should play well and have excellent or good records here; this is not my usual style as I often look for the outsiders at big prices or at least the mid-market possibles – this week though should be a battle between many of the top players. Tiger may have dominated here but is an avoid still currently for me as he hasn’t got that consistency back and a few poor holes will cost him too much here.

Phil Mickelson > ignore the hype and media attention of Phil’s recent tax comments and look at his record – definitely the type to bounce back and prove a few doubters wrong at any time, Phil can score well enough here to compete and with his confidence and record here, it’s hard not to pick him this week > 21 on betfair

Bubba Watson > in consistently strong form and more than capable of overpowering this course, winner here 2 years ago and another good effort last year – has got the game and record so understandably a short price – appeals far more than Tiger at twice the price > 16 on betfair

Keegan Bradley > 4th at Kapalua and with a pair of top 25s here in recent times, KB has the game to do well here – a good straight driver of the ball and a really good putter who will relish these greens > 27 on betfair

Marc Leishman > decent longer shot for me although he isn’t accurate enough to warrant justification on that basis; the Aussie has been in good form however and having tied for 2nd and 9th here in 2011 and ’11 and with a top 10 in Hawaii recently, he looks to be primed for a good week and he often does well on tough courses > 60 on betfair is definitely worth taking despite him not looking to be an obvious candidate here

Going with just these 4 for now although will watch Dustin Johnson too as he could easily be involved – will look at those who play the tough South course first and maybe could rise up the leaderboard if they rip the North course apart

About Author

* UK born, now live in sunny Australia * Specialise in golf & football but also dabble on the nags, cricket, US sports, AFL, etc * Always looking to go against the flow and tend to trade most of the time

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