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Farmers Insurance Open: Best Bets and Course Info

It’s time for some big boy golf! With the first few tournaments of 2024 out of the way, we are finally entering the heart of the PGA season. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for winning scores to be in the low teens instead of the high twenties. Torrey Pines will give us just that, with what will be the toughest test these golfers have seen this season. The past 4 seasons have seen winning scores ranging from -13 to -15.

It is also worth noting that the Farmers Insurance Open will start on Wednesday. With this event ramping up the quality of play, viewership also starts to increase as well. With the NFL hosting both Conference Championships this Sunday, the PGA has opted to compete with College Basketball instead. So if you’re placing bets or making fantasy lineups, be sure to have those finalized Tuesday night!

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The Course: Torrey Pines North and South Course

With 156 golfers competing and still fighting an early sunset, we will once again see a multiple-course event. Each golfer will have a round on the North Course and South Course at Torrey Pines, and the South will host both the 3rd and final rounds. The South Course is significantly harder than the North Course, so golfers will really need to take advantage of their singular round to rack up some birdies. Expect at least a 2 stroke difference in playing difficulty between the courses.

The South Course is more difficult due to one main factor: distance. Some rounds will see a distance north of 7,700 yards. To make matters worse, the rough is long and extremely penal. On top of the driving hardships, the green complexes are some of the most difficult in the entire country. Putting will be extremely important here, as hitting 10-15 foot par putts will be the difference between winning and potentially missing the cut. The blueprint is quite clear for success at the Farmers Insurance Open: be great off the tee and on the green. Approach is always important, but you will not have to be elite to win at Torrey Pines.

Best Bets: Farmers Insurance Open

Sungjae Im (+2200)

Sungjae Im is a very well-rounded golfer. He’s amongst the best in the world off the tee. He’s slightly above average in distance, but his accuracy is world-class. He’s gained strokes driving the ball in 9 consecutive events. Fitting perfectly at Torrey Pines, his short game is also fantastic. He’s gained strokes putting in 8 straight tournaments.

If his skill wasn’t enough, Sungjae has done very well for himself at Torrey Pines. In his 5 years as a PGA pro, he has improved his finish every single year. He’s gone from T52, to T36, to T32, to T6, and finally a T4 finish last year. While it’s irresponsible to expect this trend to continue perfectly, it certainly is promising. His early struggles here were due to hemorrhaging strokes on the green, but in his past 2 times at Torrey, Sungjae has gained over 6 strokes putting.

I’m one to believe in win regression, and Sungjae is bound to experience some of that soon. For such a highly touted player, he only has 2 victories. Look for Im to make it 3 in San Diego.

Ryo Hisatsune (+10000, Top 10 +800)

Most of you may not recognize this name. Ryo started on the DPWT in 2023. A few months ago, he got his first professional win days after turning 21. Nick Dunlap just became a household name to win a PGA event as a 20-year-old amateur. I’m not saying Ryo is better than Dunlap, but Ryo’s success at such a young age has definitely gone overlooked by most.

Since the start of 2023, he has 7 Top 10 finishes on the DPWT, including said victory at the Cazoo Open de France. He has also never missed a cut on the PGA Tour. In those 7 PGA events, he has finished T12 or better in 4 of them. Last week at the American Express, his hot short game led him to a T11 finish. That short game is hands down Ryo’s strongest asset. Both around the green play and putting will be important at Torrey Pines, and Hisatsune can handle both confidently.

If Ryo is going to win, he will most likely follow the path Patrick Reed took in 2021. Reed gained less than 3 strokes ball-striking over the entire tournament. He did however gain over 11 strokes in the short game. If Ryo Hisatsune can develop his ball striking, he will undoubtedly become one of the world’s best golfers. If books are going to continue to give him huge odds, I will continue to play them. Let’s go Ryo!

Gary Woodland (+20000, Top 10 +1400)

+20000 on a major winner, on a major-worthy course, is too good to pass up. While he’s certainly not the same player he once was, there is no arguing Gary Woodland can’t compete at Torrey Pines.

Driving distance is Woodland’s specialty, as he consistently gains 20 yards to the field. He hasn’t finished below average in a tournament in almost 2 full years. His approach game is also very, very good. In his 14 times playing at the Farmers Insurance Open, he’s gained strokes off the tee and approaching the green in 12 of those 14. It will truly come down to his putting.

Let’s be honest: Gary Woodland is probably not winning this tournament. His last victory came at the 2019 U.S. Open. For him to win here, his putting would need to be something that it isn’t: good. However, with how difficult this course will play, I believe his putting woes could cancel out with the field. Most guys will struggle putting, which will lessen the affect of Woodland’s worst part of his game. I think he’s worth a small win wager, but I am a big fan of his odds to finish in the Top 10. 14/1 for such a consistent ball-striker is a great price, and too good to pass up.

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