The Tour continues this week in Southern California, moving to San Diego for the Farmers Insurance Open. The Farmers is played at the Torrey Pines Course, which I have not played, but both my brother Eric Hedgecock and friend Brent Harrah have. Both maintained the course was indeed a challenge.
Perhaps that is because the Torrey South course logs in at 7,698 yards making the scene the longest on the Tour, while the North course is 7,258 yards. In fact, the North, or “shorter,” features just four Par Three’s, none of which is less than 200 yards, suggesting big — and accurate — hits are needed all around.
With Jon Rahm defending a title, I certainly looked at him while making picks this time, but I similarly looked at distance off the tee and also from 175-200 yards out. Note, too, that the Farmers marks the return of Tiger Woods, whom I will surely watch, but I would not pick him any more than I would pick even Clayton Kershaw returning from surgery and a two-year layoff. Still, it will be fun to watch the Tiger, and any return to form would be great.
Brian Harman ($9600): Talk about a hot hand, Harman has made six consecutive cuts with five (right, FIVE!) top 10s, and though he does only rank 124 over 300 yards plus off the tee, he is averaging a gaudy 94.3 points a week.
Phil Mickelson ($8900): Phil struggled some last week, but he is still averaging 83.7 points with two of three cuts made this season. Since Phil ranks third off the tee over 300 yards, that simply adds to his resume.
Tony Finau ($8700): Finau ranks #31 in consistency over 300 yards to go with five consecutive cuts made this season, while averaging 82.4 points per contest with one top 10.
Jhonattan Vegas ($7700): #Another consistent player this season, Vegas has finished the weekend six times with one top 10 and an average of 76.5 points per week. Add in Vegas is #31 driving the ball over 300 yards and my case is made.
Si-Woo Kim ($7600): Kim can certainly zone in, ranking #2 1 at hitting the greens between 175-200 yards. With six cuts over seven tries, Kim has a pair of top 10s this go-around.
Jamie Lovemark ($7400): Jamie kills it from the box, ranking second in 300-320-yard drives this season. Lovemark has only survived half the time over his six attempts this year, but I am willing to gamble the big hitter will give me four days of play.
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