THE Farmers Insurance Open is played over two courses at Torrey Pines, North and South, California, for the first two rounds, with the final 36 holes being played only on the South.
The revamped Torrey North has had 18 bunkers removed, leaving 41 and quite a few trees have had to be cut down due to infestation. Both courses are par 72s although the North is slightly easier so good scoring on that course could set the players up nicely for the weekend. Tee to green, GIR and putts per round could be important this week.
My first selection is my favourite player this year, Hideki Matsuyama. He is seventh in tee to green average (1.857), T6 in GIR (77.78) and 27.94 ppr. I have kept an eye on Matsuyama for a couple of years now after Mr Fixit’s glowing report when he saw him at The Masters two years ago.
He has shown great improvement over that time and is on a roll at the moment. On the PGA Tour this season he has won twice, second twice, a tied six and although he finished T26 in the Sony Open in Hawaii he hit 66, 67, 67, 69 so form is still there.
Another who is showing good form on the Tour is Italian Francesco Molinari. With three top sixes from his last four outings he has good form. Francesco seems to be spending more time on the American side of the Atlantic and seems to be benefiting from that. His GIR stat is a healthy 72.22%, ppr of 27.58 (5th) and tee to green is 2.473 (2nd). Certainly like the look of him and with prices between 45 and 66-1 a good return is expected.
For my third selection I’m going for one of my picks from last week. Brendan Steele did me a place in the Sony Open and didn’t do anything wrong. He won the Safeway Open, the first tournament of the new season and was being playing steadily since.
His last two tourneys he finished T6, in fact in his last six outings he has been 69 under par. His GIR is 76.94% (11th), tee to green 1.474 (16th) and putts per round of 29.2 which could be his weak point.