This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Farmers Insurance Open
Torrey Pines - South Course (7,698 yards, par-72)
Torrey Pines - North Course (7,258 yards, par-72)
$1,278,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner
The PGA Tour heads just over an hour south from La Quinta to San Diego for leg two of the West Coast Swing in California, as Torrey Pines plays host to the Farmers Insurance Open along the Pacific coast. Unlike last week's Desert Classic, however, a plethora of the game's top talent will be in attendance as nine of the Official World Golf Ranking's top-15 plan to tee it up. The event features both the South and North Courses at Torrey Pines, though the former will be used for both of the weekend rounds following a 36-hole cut from 156 entrants to the low-70 and ties. The weather looks beautiful with sunny skies and an abnormal lack of game-changing wind, but the breeze could pick up early Saturday afternoon.
Recent Past Champions
2018 - Jason Day
2017 - Jon Rahm
2016 - Brandt Snedeker
2015 - Jason Day
2014 - Scott Stallings
2013 - Tiger Woods
2012 - Brandt Snedeker
2011 - Bubba Watson
2010 - Ben Crane
Key Stats to Victory
Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
Strokes Gained: Approach
The South Course at Torrey Pines ranked as the eighth-toughest venue in 2018 as the trio of Jason Day, Ryan Palmer and Alex Noren forced a playoff at just 10-under-par. What else did these three have in common? They finished 1-2-3 in terms of combined par-4 and par-5 scoring, showcasing the importance of tee-to-green play on these par-72 layouts. Each of the top-6 ranked players in driving distance finished T12 or better, so power off the tee is a major advantage here. Just 10 entrants were able to hit 50 or more greens in regulation, showcasing the importance of scrambling due to deflated GIR percentages. Additionally, the South Course features tough poa annua greens that can become bumpy, requiring additional precision especially from short distances.
FanDuel Value Picks
Jon Rahm, $11,900 - Dating back to the Euro Tour's DP World Tour Championship, Rahm has gone 6-T8-Win-T4 to earn top betting odds again this week among a loaded field. The 2017 Farmers champ is top-8 on Tour in both SG: Off-the-Tee and SG: Tee-to-Green, as well as top-15 in rough proximity and three-putt avoidance. Rahm figures to draw more attention in the highest price range than the likes of Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama and Rory McIlroy.
Tiger Woods, $11,500 - All eyes will be on the seven-time champion of this event as he makes his 2019 debut with a handful of new toys in the bag, experimenting with significant equipment changes. Woods owns a share of the tournament scoring record at 22-under, which came back in 1999 when Buick sponsored the invitational. He placed T23 during his last visit to Torrey Pines in 2018, but is now just two starts out from his valiant return to the winner's circle at the TOUR Championship.
Marc Leishman, $10,800 - A two-time runner-up at Torrey Pines, Leishman is due for a win in San Diego as the breezy conditions off the ocean mimic his upbringing in Australian golf. Leishman's recent form is second to none with four top-4s in five starts, sparked by his win at the CIMB Classic in October. The 35-year-old is third in rough proximity, fifth in SG: Total and sixth in birdie average.
Tony Finau, $10,700 - Finau is quickly earning a horse for the course reputation at Torrey Pines with finishes of T6-T4-T18-T24 in his first four appearances at the Farmers Insurance Open. The 10th-ranked player in the OWGR will be making his 2019 debut this week, coming off runner-up honors at the Hero World Challenge in early December. He leads the Tour in driving distance with an average drive of 320.6 yards, albeit a small sample size.
Longer Shots Worth a Risk
Xander Schauffele, $10,000 - Schauffele is heavily discounted thanks to three consecutive missed cuts at the Farmers Insurance Open, despite home-field advantage as he hails from La Jolla, CA. This time around, however, he's up to a career-best sixth in the OWGR with a pair of wins in his last four starts. Schauffele leads the Tour in both FedExCup points and SG: Tee-to-Green.
Luke List, $9,700 - List can be a cash-game nightmare as evidenced by his last four finishes of MC-T4-MC-T4, but such a trend warrants consideration in tournament formats. He leads the Tour in SG: Off-the-Tee and is fifth in driving distance, but List also finished T12 at Torrey Pines in 2018.
Sungjae Im, $9,000 - Fellow rookies Cameron Champ and Adam Long have stolen the show with respective wins at the Sanderson Farms Championship and Desert Classic, but Im trails close behind at 29th in the FedExCup standings thanks to a quartet of top-20s in eight starts. The Korean ranks eighth in SG: Off-the-Tee and 26th in birdie average, though he also posted a solid short-game performance in La Quinta where he tied for 11th in scrambling last week.
Keith Mitchell, $8,300 - Having finished 10th on Tour in driving distance as a rookie last season, Mitchell harnesses more than enough power to keep up at Torrey Pines. He already owns a trio of top-25 results in five starts since the CIMB Classic and currently ranks second on Tour in SG: Tee-to-Green.
Strategy Tips for this week (based on 60k standard salary cap)
FanDuel has adjusted their golf scoring to reward the first-place finisher with 30 fantasy points, followed by 20 for the runner-up, 18 for third and so on and so forth. This change shouldn't have much of an impact on strategy, but it's an improved way to reward leaderboard placement rather than lumping positions together near the top. In terms of lineup building in tournament formats, focus on key statistics like driving distance and SG: T2G over course history, as we've seen even first-timers excel in the past at Torrey Pines. On the cash-game side, however, include a few of the field's top scramblers as the Farmers Insurance Open won't become a birdie fest.