PGA Tour Picks: Farmers Insurance Open Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
Unless you cover the PGA Tour for a full-time living, which I used to do but haven't in a decade, then it's simply impossible to know whom every golfer on Tour is. I heard of Tour rookie Adam Long, but I wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a crowd of three at my local grocery store.
I can now after Long shot a brilliant final-round 65 on Sunday - including a 15-foot birdie on No. 18 -- at the Desert Classic in Palm Springs to beat Phil Mickelson and Adam Hadwin by a stroke in just his sixth pro start. Long, who started the final round three shots behind Lefty, chipped in twice on the back nine. He didn't make a bogey. Impressive stuff for a guy who was 20 over par in is previous five Tour starts. Mickelson looked like a new guy as he shot a first-round 60 and had never lost when shooting 61 or better at an event.
Needless to say, I didn't address Long last week. I did get the Canadian Hadwin at +265 for a Top 10 as he loves that event. Ditto Jon Rahm at -150. My pick to win was Scott Piercy at +4000 and was T57 at 11 under.
Now the Tour heads to the San Diego area and storied Torrey Pines for the Farmers Insurance Open. The clear story line is that it's Tiger Woods' 2019 debut at a course he has won eight times - including his last major title, the U.S. Open, in 2008. It's easily the best field so far with Rory McIlroy playing the event for the first time and world No. 1 Justin Rose teeing it up as well. Xander Schauffele Tony Finau will be paired with Woods in the first two rounds at the Torrey Pines South and North courses. The North is only utilized for the first two rounds and is much shorter than the 7,698-yard South. Both are par 72s. Woods holds the South Course 18-hole record of a 62 and is tied for the 72-hole tournament record at 266.
Eight straight winners here began the tournament on the South course. A non-American has won three of the past four years. Two of those four have gone to a playoff. A few top Europeans remain overseas to play in the big-money Dubai Desert Classic. Mickelson is not playing this week in a stunner as he had played the tournament 28 consecutive years.
Golf Odds: Farmers Insurance Open Favorites
At Bovada, Rahm is the +1000 favorite. He was the 2017 champion at 13 under, three shots ahead of Charles Howell III and Pan Cheng-tsung, whomever that is. Rahm had a T8 in the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii before the T6 last week. He was T29 here last year as he blew up on the weekend and not in a good way.
McIlroy is +1200, with defending champion Jason Day, Rose and Tiger all at +1400. Not big on McIlroy as I don't like guys playing a course for the first time. Day beat Alexander Noren and Ryan Palmer in a playoff to win here last year for the second time - he also did in a 2015 playoff over three guys. Day was a runner-up in 2014. Rose was T8 here a year ago and T34 last week. You know all about Tiger, who is obviously the all-time money leader here. It's his first official Tour event since winning the Tour Championship.
Golf Odds: Farmers Insurance Open Picks
Like Rahm again for a Top 10 (even) as well as Day (+150) and Finau (+175). The latter has been Top 10 here the past two years. I don't like Tiger (+150) for one.
Head-to-head, go Daniel Berger (-115) over Billy Horschel (-115), Patrick Cantlay (-155) over Charles Howell III (+120), Ryan Palmer (-130) over Charl Schwartzel (even), Finau (-120) over Schauffele (-110), and McIlroy (-120) over Woods (-110).
Rahm & Day at +550 vs. the field (-1000) is somewhat tempting, and I may throw a few bucks there. The winner is Marc Leishman at +2000. He has a win and three other Top 5s in four starts this season and has two runners-up at Torrey. He was T8 last year.
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