The West Coast swing continues this week at a popular public track out West, Torrey Pines. Both the North and South courses will be used again this year, with the weekend hosted on the famous South Course. With a rare Wednesday start to avoid competing with the NFL conference championships, six of the top 10 tee it up this week for a chance at 500 FedEx Cup points and a $7.5 million purse.
Our guy Dustin Johnson returns to action for the first time in months after a long winter break with Paulina. Hideki Matsuyama, the only two-time winner this season, looks to build on an impressive start. DeChambeau, Schauffele, JT, Brooks, Patrick Reed (defending champion), Jordan Spieth, Phil - this year’s field features a star-studded cast. Yet analysts seem to be obsessing over a popular pick this week (and rightfully so) - World No. 1 Jon Rahm. His historical success at Torrey Pines is nothing to ignore, most notably his U.S. Open win last year. Since his first career PGA Tour win here in 2017, Rahm has finished seventh or better three times in four starts at this event. Over the last 30 years, the players to average the most birdies-or-better per round at the Farmers are Tiger Woods and Jon Rahm.
If you haven’t heard the term Kikuyu before, you will likely be sick of hearing it come Saturday evening. This type of grass lining Torrey Pines is much different than what we typically see. With a sponge-like feel to it, Kikuyu has a tendency to stop a ball almost immediately, preventing any significant roll-out and making bump-and-runs much harder. Players that have a shallow attack angle and smaller divots often have more luck with this type of grass (if you do the research on which PGA players fit this mold, you may be onto something 😉).
Players to watch this week
Xander Schauffele ($10,100 DK, +1600 to win)
While you won’t catch the Pinned boys taking the outright favorite very often, we love Xander this week coming in with the third lowest odds to take it home. After four out of five missed cuts at Torrey early in his career, the California native got back on track in 2021 with a second place finish here. Xander grew up playing his high school golf at Torrey. We usually post 88-92s (unreal for us) at our hometown muni’s, so we have to assume Xander gets the same sort of excitement returning to his childhood track.
Sam Burns ($9,700 DK, +2500to win)
If you are a casual fan and have not heard the name Sam Burns, that will change this year. Arnold Palmer’s grandson has two PGA tour wins to date, and we expect that number to go up by a few in 2022. With six top-10s in his previous 10 starts dating back to last summer, it is only a matter of time before the Vegas books realize they aren’t giving Sam the respect he deserves.
Justin Rose ($7,900 DK, +5000 to win)
Justin Rose is a perfect 9/9 on made cuts this year with three top 10s. Rose has an impressive track record at Torrey Pines, highlighted by a win at this very event in 2019. We expect Rose to be hanging around as we head into the weekend, and he could be a good value play in Daily Fantasy Sports.