2022 Farmers Insurance Open Golf – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

There is an early start to the PGA Tour offering this week as the show moves to Torrey Pines for the Farmers Insurance Open, the first real decent tournament of the year on this side of the pond and one which in my mind begins the build-up to Augusta.

Patrick Reed certainly loves this time of year. Having previously won at Augusta he took this tournament down by five strokes last year and will attempt to defend the title. As ever in this event he goes up against a strong field.

Recent Winners

2021 – Patrick Reed

2020 – Marc Leishman

2019 – Justin Rose

2018 – Jason Day

2017 – Jon Rahm

2016 – Brandt Snedeker

2015 – Jason Day

2014 – Scott Stallings

2013 – Tiger Woods

2012 – Brandt Snedeker

The Courses

For the second week in succession we have multiple courses in use this week. We are at Torrey Pines where the North Course and the South Course will be used. The field will play the first two once over the first two rounds before those who make the cut will play the final 36 holes on the South Course, the track which hosted the US Open last June. Both courses are par 72s with the North measuring 7,256 yards which probably needs to be taken advantage of because the South is a monster at 7,765 yards, comfortably the longest on the PGA Tour.

The weather often has an impact in this tournament and it is expected to be cool for the most part so that South Course is likely to play like a bit of a beast. The wind is likely to be minimal so that is a help to the players. You need a bit of length here but it can be important to hit the fairways too. Quite often, as is the case with all Championship courses, putting is a key statistic and these greens aren’t necessarily the easiest to putt on. This is basically a very good test.

The Field

There might be some big events taking place in the middle east over the next couple of weeks but that hasn’t seriously impacted on the field at the Farmers Insurance Open, one which is headlined by the US Open champion and world number one Jon Rahm. He is far from the only superstar on show this week though as we have the likes of Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau and the home ace Xander Schauffele teeing it up as well.

Patrick Reed will attempt to defend his title and a tournament is always boosted when its champion looks to regain the title. The international challenge this week will be spearheaded by Hideki Matsuyama and the former champion Marc Leishman while Sam Burns, Dustin Johnson, Scottie Scheffler, Daniel Berger and Brooks Koepka are just some of the other home names who will be looking to add a pretty prestigious title to their CV. Will Zalatoris and Jordan Spieth are other notables in the field.

Market Leaders

Jon Rahm won his first PGA Tour title here in 2017 and followed up his love affair with the South Course when he won the US Open on it seven months ago so he feels a worthy 7/1 favourite to win the tournament even in a field as strong as this. If there is a concern about the world number one it might be that he didn’t really feature last week but that event is a lottery at the best of times. He carded -33 at the Tournament of Champions to open the year though so the Spaniard is the one to beat here, albeit at a win only or big stakes price.

Justin Thomas will begin the week as a 14/1 shot to land the title this week in most places. There is no doubting the class of the American but at the same time there is no getting away from the fact that his putter is not cooperating at the minute. He has lost strokes with the short stick in four of his last six starts and you can’t afford to be surrendering shots on these dancefloors. His three visits to this tournament have never yielded better than T10 either which is another concern. He isn’t for me this week.

Bryson DeChambeau has never made the cut here in this tournament in two outings but those both came before he bulked up and added the levels of power he has now. Last year he led the field at the US Open with nine holes to play before things unravelled in a major way but that would certainly offer hope to those who are backing the former US Open winner at 18/1 this week. The downsides would be that he is haemorrhaging strokes around the green at present and he has been citing a sore wrist which is far from ideal. Without those injury concerns I’d have been happy to chance him but others are preferred now.

Hideki Matsuyama and Xander Schauffele are both 22/1 on the best prices this week. The Japanese star has won on two of his last three starts and gained a ridiculous seven shots on the field with the putter at the Sony Open. That club still doesn’t cooperate as much as I would like though and that puts me off taking him. Schauffele missed four of his first five cuts here which was a surprise with this being his home event but he was second in this last year and seventh in the US Open so maybe he is finally getting to grips with local expectation. He only has won top 10 since winning Olympic gold though so form is a concern.

Main Bets

Daniel Berger has come on leaps and bounds in terms of consistency since he won the Pebble Beach pro-am last year and although he has never conquered this tournament yet, he was seventh here in the US Open last year which should at least prove to himself that he can play well on this monstrous South Course. He is preparing to defend the title next week so this is a big period of golf for him. The tee to green game of Berger has been exceptional for a while and although his putter doesn’t carry the same strength as his long game it is no longer the weakness it once was. Berger is now at the level where he should be contending for these bigger regular events all the time and I’ll back him to do just that here.

Max Homa has a wonderful record in his home state with two wins from his last three starts in California having won at Riviera and the Fortinet last year. The missed cut in between came here in the US Open but it might just be that he is still adjusting his game to majors because he is relatively new to them. Homa was the second best in the field with the short stick at the Fortinet and gained strokes on all but five on huge greens at the Tournament of Champions at the beginning of the year. That will have blown out the cobwebs and a player who usually has a decent tee to green game and who putts brilliantly in California shouldn’t be too far away here. He has top 20s in his last two visits to this event and should be deep in the mix now he has a couple of wins under his belt.

Outsiders

Lanto Griffin caught the eye last week when he ran home strongly to finish third at The American Express with all his statistical numbers very encouraging which is certainly no bad thing when you consider that this tournament tests all parts of the game. Griffin is quietly having a good season. That third last week was his third top 10 finish after good runs at the Shriners and the ZOZO Championship where once again he putted very well. He regularly gains strokes from tee to green and his last three outings in this event read 12-MC-7 and with the form from last week he should go well here.

Ryan Palmer is something of a tournament specialist here with a couple of runner up finishes including in behind Patrick Reed here last year. One of the reasons for that is because he drives the ball so well, regularly gaining strokes off the tee and into the greens. Clearly these greens are surfaces that he reads well and putts well on because in between those two second placed efforts, he finished 13-21 with the latter likely to have been a much stronger finish but for a surprise final round 77. Palmer blew away the cobwebs with a T12 at the Sony Open a couple of weeks ago where his statistics were good so he should be primed for another decent showing here.

Brandt Snedeker absolutely loves it in this tournament. He has no fewer than eight top 10s in this event in its various names and that includes a pair of wins in 2012 and 2016, the latter of which he won in insanely strong winds when this course played as tough as it possibly could. Since then he was third in 2020 at a time where his game was in the doldrums a little. It probably still isn’t in the place he would like it but a top 15 last week where he hit more fairways than anyone was encouraging because he remains a decent putter. We see players who aren’t quite on the top of their game arrive at a favourite event and find some form all the time and I’ll pay to see if that happens to Snedeker here, particularly after an encouraging outing last week.

Tips

Back D.Berger to win Farmers Insurance Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 23.00 with Betfair (1/5 1-8)

Back him here:

Back M.Homa to win Farmers Insurance Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 61.00 with Sky Bet (1/5 1-8)

Back L.Griffin to win Farmers Insurance Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with Sky Bet (1/5 1-8)

Back R.Palmer to win Farmers Insurance Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with Sky Bet (1/5 1-8)

Back B.Snedeker to win Farmers Insurance Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 101.00 with Sky Bet (1/5 1-8)

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