There are countless starts to the PGA Tour season, but perhaps the most low-key opening day is headlined by the Farmers Insurance Open, the first tournament to be broadcast on television. It has a loaded course on a golf course and an area that feels like a huge golf tournament.
The list of winners is also incredible. Tiger Woods (7x), Phil Mickelson (3x), Jason Day (2x), Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed, Davis Love III and Bubba Watson have all won titles here over the last 25 years, and there’s a good chance another star will add his name to the trophy this week at Torrey Pines.
Let’s take a closer look at this week’s contest with the odds provided through Caesars Sportsbook.
Event: Farmers Insurance Open | Dates: January 26-29
Location: Torrey Pines Golf Course – La Jolla, California.
Through: 72 | Handbag: $8.4 million
Three things you should know
1. Jon Rahm Owns Torrey: The stories are true: Rahm has been a threat on this golf course. There are a few dozen players on this course who have played at least 15 rounds on the South Course (which is used for three of the four rounds), and only four of them have more than 1.5 strokes per round earned. (meaning he wins 1.5 strokes per round on the field in this field). Patrick Reed (1.55), Tony Finau (1.76) and Brandt Snedeker (2.11) are the top three, with Rahm (2.43!) the other. In four tournaments (2017 Farmers, 2019 Farmers, 2020 Farmers, 2021 Farmers and 2021 US Open) he has lost to a total of 11 golfers and also has two titles in that span. We’re not quite at “Tiger at Torrey” threat levels yet, but we’re not that far away either.
2. The DeChambeau Dance: Bryson DeChambeau hasn’t played the Farmers Insurance Open since 2018 when he missed the cut. However, seven months ago, he led the US Open after 63 holes before Rahm won and DeChambeau finished T26 alongside Rikuya Hoshino and Chris Baker. I am fascinated to see what we get from it. That’s true most weeks, but perhaps especially this one in a place that rewards distance but also where there hasn’t been a strong correlation between shots gained and shots gained off the tee in any of the last seven Farmers. InsuranceOpen. That’s a very deep and detailed dive that we don’t need to linger on, and it may or may not say anything about DeChambeau or the possibilities of him, but it’s worth considering and thinking about as this event unfolds. Overall, DeChambeau has played very average golf in his limited experience here (and well below what we would normally expect of him at a Tour event). I’m intrigued to see what happens, especially in light of those wild final nines in the fourth round of last year’s US Open when he shot 44 in the back to drop out of contention entirely.
3. The anniversary: This week will mark exactly 12 months since Reed created arguably the most controversial moment in golf in 2021. An intricate, multi-tentacled mess that included him picking up a ball he assumed was covered, though video evidence revealed the ball skipped into mid-air, and asking a rules official to stick his fingers into the depression the ball apparently left (although Reed himself said it was impossible for a bouncing ball to plug). Reed won by five points over five other golfers including Viktor Hovland, Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele. The moment will not be, and should not be, this week’s top story, but it will be reviewed and replayed throughout.
Rick Gehman (RickRunGood) joins Sia Nejad and Greg Ducharme to preview the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open from a DFS perspective. Follow and listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts Y Spotify.
rate the field
This year’s field strength of 499 is just shy of the opening Tournament of Champions (field strength: 514), but it’s a bit stronger than last year’s edition, and still includes several major winners and six of the 10 best players in the world. Rahm is the No. 1 player in the world and will play for the third time in four weeks to start the year. He won the US Open at this course last year and took this event in 2017. He was joined by Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau, DeChambeau and last year’s winner Reed. Grade A
Farmers Insurance 2022 Open Picks
Who will win the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open and which long shots will amaze the golf world? Visit SportsLine to see the Farmers Insurance Open leaderboard projected for 2022, all from the model that has won seven golf majors and is up nearly $10,000 since the restart.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism