Farmers guide

Dave Tindall's preview, stats and tips for this week's Farmer's Insurance Open in California

By Dave Tindall Twitter: @DaveTindallgolf.   Last Updated: 24/01/14 10:00pm

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A look at Tiger and Phil's strong links with Torrey Pines

Sky Bet

The PGA Tour travels to the southern California coast for this week's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

Played on the club's South and North courses, the event dates back to 1952 with Torrey Pines taking over as tournament host 16 years later.

During the past decade and a half, this San Diego tournament has been dominated by Tiger Woods who has won here eight times.

This includes a play-off victory at the 2008 US Open which remains his most recent Major success.

Woods is in the field this week, making his first PGA Tour start of the calendar year.

Of the two venues, the South is by far the more difficult, usually averaging around two to three strokes higher than the North.

Each pro plays one round on the North and one on the South during the first two rounds before the final 36 holes are contested on the South on the weekend.

Since the event moved to Torrey Pines in 1968, the only non-American winner is Jose Maria Olazabal.

Tiger Woods displays the trophy after winning it for the seventh time last year

PLAYERS with GOOD to REASONABLE FORM at TORREY PINES

Last Eight Years

Player: '06 / '07 / '08 / '09 / '10 / '11 / '12 / '13

Robert Allenby: - / 9 / 35 / - / 9 / MC / 22 / Wd
Aaron Baddeley: 79 / - / 13 / 11 / MC / MC / 27 / 6
Keegan Bradley: - / - / - / - / - / 25 / 22 / MC
KJ Choi: MC / - / MC / - / 15 / 29 / - / 9
Stewart Cink: 28 / 14 / 3 / - / - / 51 / 13 / MC
Ben Crane: Wd / - / MC / 7 / Won / 14 / MC / MC
Joe Durant: MC / - / 6 / MC / - / 20 / - / -
Rickie Fowler: - / - / - / - / 5 / 20 / 13 / 6
Lucas Glover: 4 / MC / MC / 3 / 9 / 51 / - / 39
Bill Haas: MC / 20 / 29 / 11 / 37 / 9 / 4 / 9
Charles Howell: 39 / 2 / 13 / 42 / 9 / 14 / 43 / 9
Freddie Jacobson: - / - / MC / MC / 22 / 25 / - / -
Marc Leishman: - / - / - / 26 / 2 / 9 / 52 / MC
Justin Leonard: - / - / 5 / - / - / - / 8 / 78
Spencer Levin: - / - / - / MC / 22 / 20 / 43 / -
Hunter Mahan: MC / 56 / 29 / 11 / 27 / 6 / 6 / 15
Troy Matteson: 28 / 23 / 11 / MC / MC / 9 / MC / MC
Phil Mickelson: 8 / 51 / 6 / 42 / 19 / 2 / MC / 51
Pat Perez: 39 / MC / MC / 57 / MC / 20 / 22 / 21
Scott Piercy: - / - / - / MC / 20 / - / 13 / MC
DA Points: 35 / - / - / 68 / 9 / 5 / 8 / MC
John Rollins: 4 / MC / 65 / 2 / 20 / MC / 3 / 44
Rory Sabbatini: 16 / MC / 3 / MC / - / 44 / - / -
Vijay Singh: - / 39 / 23 / - / - / 20 / 13 / 27
Brandt Snedeker: - / 3 / MC / 42 / 2 / 9 / Won / 2
Kyle Stanley: - / - / - / - / - / 51 / 2 / MC
Brendan Steele: - / - / - / - / - / 17 / MC / 27
Cameron Tringale: - / - / - / - / MC / 73 / 4 / 27
Camilo Villegas: MC / MC / 13 / 3 / - / 44 / 22 / MC
Jimmy Walker: MC / - / - / MC / MC / 29 / 8 / 4
Nick Watney: 49 / 9 / MC / Won / 9 / 6 / 60 / 4
Bubba Watson: 56 / 4 / 47 / 7 / MC / Won / 13 / -
Tiger Woods: Won / Won / Won / - / - / 44 / - / Won

PLAYERS with POOR to MEDIOCRE FORM at TORREY PINES

Last Eight Years

(No Top-40 Finishes from three or more starts since 2006)

Player: '06 / '07 / '08 / '09 / '10 / '11 / '12 / '13

Briny Baird: MC / MC / 44 / MC / - / - / MC / -
Matt Bettencourt: - / - / - / 63 / MC / MC / MC / -
Steven Bowditch: MC / - / - / - / - / 76 / MC / MC
Jonathan Byrd: 70 / MC / - / - / 42 / - / - / -
Kevin Chappell: - / - / - / - / - / MC / 52 / MC
Daniel Chopra: 56 / MC / - / Wd / MC / - / MC / -
Brian Davis: 63 / MC / - / - / - / 44 / - / -
Bobby Gates: - / - / - / - / - / 65 / 60 / MC
David Hearn: - / - / - / - / - / MC / MC / MC
Will MacKenzie: MC / MC / MC / - / MC / - / - / -
Rocco Mediate: - / - / MC / - / 48 / MC / MC / -
Geoff Ogilvy: MC / - / MC / - / - / - / 50 / MC
Jeff Overton: MC / - / MC / MC* / MC / - / - / 60
Greg Owen: MC / MC / - / MC* / MC / - / 72 / 51
Andres Romero: - / - / - / - / 71 / MC / 52 / MC
Mike Weir: - / - / Wd / - / - / 77 / - / 68
Yong-Eun Yang: - / - / MC / 57 / - / 44 / MC / MC

MC* = Missed Additional 54-Hole Cut

TOP-25 Finishers at TORREY PINES in 2013 (Not Already Listed Above)

Josh Teater: (T-2nd)
Robert Garrigus: (T-6th)
Jason Day: (T-9th)
Graham DeLaet: (T-9th)
Brad Fritsch: (T-9th)
Erik Compton: (T-15th)
Brendon de Jonge: (T-15th)
Tag Ridings: (T-15th)
Luke Guthrie: (T-21st)
Nicholas Thompson: (T-21st)
Charlie Wi: (T-21st)

LOWEST 15 STROKE AVERAGES at TORREY PINES

(Last Four Years 2010/13)

Average (Rounds)

69.06: Brandt Snedeker (16)
69.50: Bubba Watson (10)
69.79: DA Points (14)
69.94: Rickie Fowler (16)
70.00: Hunter Mahan (16)
70.06: Bill Haas (16)
70.06: Nick Watney (16)
70.13: Tiger Woods (8)
70.19: Charles Howell (16)
70.29: Marc Leishman (14)
70.33: Ben Crane (12)
70.42: KJ Choi (12)
70.43: Phil Mickelson (14)
70.50: Vijay Singh (12)
70.50: Jhonattan Vegas (10)
70.50: Jimmy Walker (14)

Min. No. of Rounds = 8

FORM in CALIFORNIA

Most Top-25 Finishes in PGA Tour events since start of 2009 (Last Five Years)

Total

12: Brandt Snedeker
11: Bill Haas
11: Jimmy Walker
10: Hunter Mahan
9: Phil Mickelson
9: Bryce Molder
8: Spencer Levin
8: Nick Watney
8: Charlie Wi

LOWEST ROUNDS at TORREY PINES SINCE 2000

61: Brandt Snedeker (2007 - North)
62: Tom Lehman (2005 - North)
62: Ryan Palmer (2006 - North)
62: Michael Sim (2010 - North)
62: Spencer Levin (2012 - North)
62: Kyle Stanley (2012 - North)
63: Eight times

The lowest score recorded on the South Course since 2000 is 63.

The lowest scores recorded prior to 2000 were: 62 on the South Course by Tiger Woods (1999) and 61 on the North by Mark Brooks (1990).

Torrey Pines (South): Par 72; 7,569 yards
Torrey Pines (North): Par 72; 6,874 yards

Winning Totals (Last Three Years):
2013 - 274 (Tiger Woods)
2012 - 272 (Brandt Snedeker)
2011 - 272 (Bubba Watson)

Conclusion

The first rule when betting on this event has to be make sure you back an American.

Incredibly, given how overseas players win their fare share of other PGA Tour events, home golfers have taken victory in 45 of the 46 runnings at Torrey Pines.

Tiger, of course, is the one they have to beat but he's worth taking on at 5/2 (he was 8/1 last year).

Just four players have stroke averages in the 60s over the last four years and, at the prices, the two worth an each-way punt are good friends Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson.

This is Fowler's hometown event and in his four starts as a pro (he also made the cut as an amateur at Torrey Pines in the 2008 US Open) he's finished 5th, 20th, 13th and 6th.

Swing changes are a slight concern but Fowler hit it well enough in last week's Humana where he carded 67-66 on the weekend so the 40/1 looks fair.

Bubba won this event in 2011, was fourth in 2007, seventh in 2009 and 13th last year so it's no surprise he describes the South Course as "one of my favourites".

This is his seasonal debut but looking at his record two of his four wins came after he'd had two weeks off while he also had the tournament off before his Masters win.

In short, Bubba goes well when fresh.

Phil Mickelson is a two-time winner here even though they came way back in 2000 and 2001.

Phil Mickelson: Can win again on the West Coast

However, somewhat counter-intuitively, his one near miss in recent times - a second in 2011 - came after he'd played in Abu Dhabi the week before rather than in another nearby California event.

Given that he's coming off a tied second in Abu Dhabi last week, maybe that will serve as good preparation again.

There was certainly lots to admire about his play in the Middle East after a slow start and he actually ranked 1st on the All-Around stats there.

He'll enjoy the challenge of trying to topple Tiger and it's worth pointing out that 18 of his 40 PGA Tour wins have come on the West Coast Swing.

Best bets

1.5pts e.w. Rickie Fowler at 40/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1.5pts e.w. Bubba Watson at 33/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
4pts win Phil Mickelson at 10/1

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