Farmers Insurance Open Tips: Who will come out on top at Torrey Pines

By Bryan Nicholson

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23 January 2024

It’s been an exciting start to the PGA Tour season and last week we saw the first amateur to win a PGA Tour event since Phil Mickelson in the early nineties. It just goes to show the strength in depth in professional golf now. Players fresh out of college being ready to win straight off the bat has been a theme in recent years as golf evolves, and now the amateurs are getting in on the act.

We’re at Torrey Pines this week and I always say this is where the season really starts. Players are warmed up albeit the new format has seen the stars out earlier than usual. A stellar field lines out at Torrey Pines and leading the market is the man with local ties, Xander Schauffele, 11.5, who has struggled somewhat in this event barring a second place finish here back in 2021. Last year’s Farmers Insurance Open winner Max Homa, 15.0, is third in the betting with Collin Morikawa ,13.0, sandwiched in between.

The course

As the saying goes “Horses for courses” and Torrey Pines is a track that portrays this concept more than most. Total driving and high approaches into multi-tiered greens is the order of the week. Big hitters have a massive advantage at the Farmers Insurance Open and those that play predominantly with a left to right flight is a theme here down the years. Ball striking is key. Rounds 1 and 2 will be played over Torrey Pines North and Torrey Pines South, the latter of which is the host course and generally plays a few shots harder. Thick rough surrounds the Poa surfaces.

The Contenders

I wouldn’t usually recommend backing guys with no experience of Torrey Pines, but Ludvig Aberg really is the exact profile we are looking for here. first in total driving, first in ball striking, third in greens in regulation and second in strokes gained off the tee in his first season as a pro makes him a mouthwatering prospect this week, even at 25.0 or 4.2 the top 10.

Tony Finau (27.0 or 3.85) is a perfect fit for the Farmers Insurance Open and perhaps a winner in waiting at Torrey Pines. Big Tony has missed the cut here once in nine appearances and the rest have been top 25s including several top sixes and some near misses. 18th in GIR last year, Finau plays with that booming fade, and he’s one of the most powerful players on the tour.

Will Zalatoris (50.0 or 5.8) is another in the mould of Finau and owns a seventh place finish here alongside a runner up spot when he should have won in 2022. Fresh off an injury ridden season in 2023, Zalatoris will be looking for a big year. The American also plays with that fade, comes in high, and he led both the strokes gained tee to green and SG: approach stats in 2022. Zalatoris warmed up with a T34 last week at the American Express.

Let’s go with Justin Rose (110.0 or 9.4) again who has started the season off in simmering form, but he’s played a little better than the data would suggest. Rose is a former Farmers Insurance Open winner and course specialist with five top 20s here including the win, and three other top 10s. He was 30th in strokes gained tee to green last year and when he’s firing, he hits it long, high and straight.

Recommended Bets

Back Ludvig Aberg to win @ 25.0 or T10 @ 4.2
Back Tony Finau to win @ 27.0 or T10 @ 3.85
Back Will Zalatoris to win @ 50.0 or T10 @ 5.8
Back Justin Rose to win @ 110 or T10 @ 9.4 

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