There are myriad starts to the PGA Tour season, but perhaps the most low-key opening day is headlined by the Farmers Insurance Open – the first tournament to be broadcast on network television. It sports a loaded terrain on a golf course and an area that looks like a major golf tournament.
The list of winners is also amazing. Tiger Woods (7x), Phil Mickelson (3x), Jason Day (2x), Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed, Davis Love III and Bubba Watson have all won titles here over the past 25 years, and there are chances are another star will add his name to the trophy this week at Torrey Pines.
Let’s take a closer look at this week’s contest with odds provided via Caesars Sportsbook.
Event: Farmers Insurance Open | Appointment: January 26-29
Site: Torrey Pines Golf Course – La Jolla, CA.
Through: 72 | Stock Exchange: $8.4 million
Three things to know
1. Jon Rahm owns Torrey: The stories are true – Rahm has been a threat on this golf course. There are a few dozen players in this area who have played at least 15 rounds on the south course (which is used for three of the four rounds), and only four of them have a strokes-gained number above 1.5 strokes per turn (meaning they gain 1.5 strokes per turn on the pitch on this course). Patrick Reed (1.55), Tony Finau (1.76) and Brandt Snedeker (2.11) are the top three, and Rahm (2.43!) is the other. In four tournaments – 2017 Farmers, 2019 Farmers, 2020 Farmers, 2021 Farmers and 2021 US Open – he has lost to a total of 11 golfers and also has two titles in that span. We’re not at Tiger at Torrey threat level yet, but we’re not that far off either.
2. The DeChambeau dance: Bryson DeChambeau hasn’t played the Farmers Insurance Open since 2018, when he missed the cut. Seven months ago, however, he led the US Open after 63 holes before Rahm won and DeChambeau finished T26 alongside Rikuya Hoshino and Chris Baker. I’m fascinated to see what we get from him. That’s true most weeks, but maybe especially in this one at a place that rewards distance, but also where there hasn’t been a strong correlation between shots won and shots won off the tee in one of the last seven Farmers Insurance Open. It’s a very deep and detailed dive that we don’t need to dwell on, and it may or may not say anything about DeChambeau or his chances, but it’s worth considering and thinking about as you go. and as this event unfolds. Overall, DeChambeau has played very average golf in his limited experience here (and well below what we would normally expect of him at a Tour event). I’m intrigued to see what happens, especially in light of those wild last nine holes in the fourth round of last year’s US Open when he shot 44 in the back to eject himself completely from the competition .
3. The birthday: This week will mark exactly 12 months since Reed created arguably golf’s most controversial moment of 2021. A convoluted, multi-tentacled mess that included him picking up a ball he assumed was plugged in – though video evidence has revealed that the ball was jumping in the air – and having a rules official put his fingers in the depression the ball apparently left behind (even though Reed himself said it was impossible for a bouncing ball to Butcher). Reed went on to win by five over five other golfers, including Viktor Hovland, Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele. The moment won’t – and shouldn’t – be this week’s main storyline, but it will be revisited and replayed throughout.
Rick Gehman (RickRunGood) is joined by Sia Nejad and Greg DuCharme to preview the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open from a DFS perspective. Follow and listen to The First Cut on Apple podcast and Spotify.
This year’s roster of 499 is just short of the opening Tournament of Champions (514 roster) but is slightly stronger than last year’s edition, and it still includes several big winners and six of the 10 best players in the world. Rahm is the No. 1 player in the world and he will play for the third time in four weeks to start the year. He won the US Open at this golf course last year and won this event in 2017. He is joined by Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau, DeChambeau and the winner of the last year, Reed. Rating: A
2022 Farmers Insurance Open Choices
Who will win the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open and what long shots will stun the golf world? Visit SportsLine to see the projected standings for the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open, all from the model that has nailed seven golf majors and is up nearly $10,000 since the restart.