PGA Picks: Farmers Insurance Open Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
Andrew Landry tried his darndest to give away The American Express tournament in Palm Springs on Sunday, blowing a six-shot lead but then managing to steady himself late and win at 26-under 262, two shots better than Abraham Ancer. Landry broke a tie with Ancer with a 7-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th hole and then birdied 18 for good measure.
It was the second career win for Landry to go with the 2018 Texas Open. He was the 54-hole co-leader but entered as a +20000 long shot to win. All four of his wins, including two on the former Web.com Tour, have come on par-72 courses and all as 54-hole co-leader. Landry had made just one cut in eight events this season and had missed five in a row. After making 55 birdies in his last eight starts, Landry made 31 last week. Needless to say, I didn't touch on him.
Ancer was trying to become the third all-time Mexican winner on Tour and first since 1978. He tied a course record with a final-round 63 at the PGA West's Stadium course. My pick to win was Chez Reavie at +6600, but he missed the cut after rounds of 71-70-67 (54-hole cut last week with three courses used).
The West Coast Swing shifts about 140 miles south along the California coast this week from Palm Springs to San Diego for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Club, which is a favorite among most on the PGA Tour.
This event began back in 1952 as the San Diego Open and moved around some until Torrey Pines became the full-time host starting in 1968. All-time greats Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson each won this tournament twice and Jack Nicklaus did once (1967). But, let's be clear: Tiger Woods "owns" this course as he makes his 2020 debut. More on that below, but this is usually where Tiger starts his year.
Torrey Pines is a 36-hole public track split into South and North courses. Every golfer plays once on each of those before the weekend cut, then the South hosts the final two rounds. That's the much longer and more-renowned course as it hosted the 2008 U.S. Open and will again in 2021. The South plays to a par 72 (as does the North) at about 7,700 yards.
Americans won this tournament every year but one from its debut through 2014. However, a U.S. player has taken it only once since: Brandt Snedeker in 2016 at 6 under by one shot over K.J. Choi. Sneds also won here in 2012 at 16 under in a playoff. The winning scores can vary wildly depending on the weather. The record is 22 under by Tiger (1999) and George Burns (1987, no not the comedian). The South course record is a 62 by Tiger in the third round in '99.
England's Justin Rose is the defending champion. He was the 54-hole leader and shot a final-round 69 to finish at 21-under 267 and two ahead of Adam Scott, who shot 68. That 21 under was the lowest in this tournament since the South was redesigned/toughened in the early 2000s. Rose joined Woods as the only player to convert a 54-hole lead at this tournament over the last decade. Nine of the last 10 leaders entering Sunday had lost the tournament.
Golf Odds: Farmers Insurance Open Favorites
The record for most victories in one PGA Tour event is eight by Sam Snead at the Greensboro Open, Tiger at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando and Tiger at the now-defunct WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron.
Tiger has won at Torrey Pines eight times, but the 2008 U.S. Open was one when he memorably beat Rocco Mediate on the 19th playoff hole Monday essentially playing on one leg due to injury. That was Tiger's last major title until the 2019 Masters. The last of his seven wins in this tournament was in 2013. He was T20 last year; Woods does have a win this wraparound season as he took the Zozo Championship in October. He's +1100 this week.
Rory McIlroy plays the PGA Tour for the first time in 2020 and is the +600 favorite. He'll overtake Brooks Koepka for No. 1 in the world with a victory. McIlroy was fifth here a year ago in his tournament debut.
Jon Rahm is +800 with Xander Schauffele and Rose each +1800. Rahm won here in 2017 and was fifth last year. Rose has three straight Top 10s at this tournament. Schauffele is yet to finish in the Top 20 in four visits.
Golf Odds: Farmers Insurance Open Picks
Take Rose (+145) and Snedeker (+400) for Top 10s. The winner is Aussie Marc Leishman at +5000. He has been runner-up here twice with a couple of other Top 10s mixed in.
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