It was an interesting week in Abu Dhabi as we ventured away from the PGA Tour and opted to cover the European Tour event last week. We are heading back to the United States this week to take a look at the 2021 Farmers Insurance, which gets underway on Thursday night from the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course.
While we didn’t pick the eventual winner, Tyrrell Hatton, in Abu Dhabi there were still some postivies to come out of the tournament as we tipped both Rory McIlroy (3rd) and Tommy Fleetwood (T7) to have high finishes. There is plenty of value on offer at Torrey Pines this week amongst a very strong field for the Farmers Insurance Open.
The Farmers Insurance Open will boast the strongest field that has been assembled since the return of the PGA Tour from the Christmas break. Two of the top five players in the world, Europeans Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy will headline the strong field alongside four time major winner Brooks Koepka and young guns Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland.
Some of the other big names in the field this week include the likes of Xander Schauffele, Tony Finay, Harris English, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Bubba Watson, Gary woodland, Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson.
The Farmers Insurance has had a star studded list of winners over the past decade, many of who m will be back in an attempt to win again in the likes of Marc Leishman, Jason Day, Jon Rahm, Brandt Snedeker and Bubba Watson.
Once again this week, golfers will play the event across two different courses. The North Course at Torrey Pines will host half the field on Thursday and Friday before players who make the cut head to the South Course for the two rounds on Saturday and Sunday.
The North Course plays as a Par 72 at 7,258 yards while the much longer of the two, the South Course, plays at just over 7,760 yards. Both courses were designed by Billy Bell Jr. and opened all the way back in 1957.
The South Course will host the U.S. Open this season, so after the Farmers Insurance last year, there were some major redesigns made to the course to make it more difficult for PGA Tour professionals ahead of the U.S. Open. While a lot of those changes, such as the length of the rough and the width of the fairways, won’t yet be in effect, we still expect this course to be harder than the one the players competed on at the Farmers Insurance last season.
The big two of Rahm and McIlroy will be on the forefront of peoples mind this week, with Rahm looking to add a second Farmers Insurance Open trophy to the case after winning his maiden PGA Tour title back in 2017. The big Spaniard is currently the 2nd ranked player in the world, but we are steering away from him this week due some recent back problems that have been causing him grief. He also just underwent a major sponsorship change, which will see him replace his Taylormade bag with Callaway, which will surely take some time to get used to.
Hunting a bit more value this week and we really like the look of two players in particular. The first of which is the Marc Leishman. The big Aussie is the defending champion at Torrey Pines and has a brilliant record there over the years. Leishman has played in the event on 12 different occasions and has made the cut 10 times including five top 10 finishes. Last season he shot rounds of 68, 68 and 65 to win the tournament with a score of -15 and he is coming off a great T4 finish at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
The other who we really like is Harris English. English is a bit further up the betting markets but is in career best form at the moment. The No.16 player in the world started the 2021 calendar year in terrific fashion by claiming a win in the Sentry Tournament of Champions against a strong field. The win was his third straight Top 10 finish in official PGA Tour events after strong showings at the Mayakoba Golf Classic and the RSM Classic. Has a solid record at Torrey Pines, including three top 15 finishes in the last six seasons.
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