The PGA TOUR’s stop this week is in southern California for the 70th Farmers Insurance Open.
The Farmers Insurance Open, known since its inception by a variety of names, has been played since 1968 at Torrey Pines Golf Course just north of San Diego in La Jolla, California. The play takes place on both courses at the site, the North and the more difficult South course.
The South course was the site of the famous 2008 U.S. Open won in a playoff by Tiger Woods. Until his Masters title in 2019, it was his 14th and most recent major championship.
Woods’ iconic putt on the 72nd hole to force an extra 18 holes against Rocco Mediate is one of the most famous in golf history.
The U.S. Open will return to Torrey Pines again later in 2021, again taking place on the South Course. The Farmers Insurance Open should serve as a preview of the upcoming major championship, although many of the top players expected at the U.S. Open are absent this week.
One player who usually gets his calendar year schedule started at The Farmers is Woods, who won’t be competing as he recovers from yet another knee surgery. He is a seven-time winner at the event and has used it in the past to return from long layoffs.
One player who usually gets his calendar year schedule started at The Farmers Insurance Open is Tiger Woods, who won’t be competing as he recovers from yet another knee surgery.
In his place as the marquee player will be Rory McIlroy, who returned to action on the European Tour last week with a third-place finish at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy began the final round with a one-shot lead, but his even-par 72 was no match for eventual winner Tyrell Hatton’s 66.
On the PGA TOUR, Si Woo Kim birdied the 16th and 17th holes to edge Patrick Cantlay in The American Express. Kim fired a final-round 64 on the PGA West Stadium Course while Cantlay came up a stroke short after a closing 11-under-par 61.
Jon Rahm was forced to withdraw from The American Express before beginning play, citing a sore back. He’s expected to be well enough to tee it up at the Farmers Insurance Open and is the betting favorite with odds of +700.
The second-ranked player in the world had two wins in 2020 but has yet to get a victory in the 2021 season.
McIlroy hasn’t teed it up on the PGA TOUR since a tie for fifth at the Masters. The 31-year-old is ranked seventh in the world, and his last win on TOUR came in the fall of 2019 at the WGC-HSBC Champions.
The four-time major champion, the last coming in 2014, has odds of +750 at the Farmers.
Others To Watch
Rounding out the top six in the odds at Torrey Pines are Xander Schauffele (+1300), Tony Finau (+2100), Harris English (+2300) and Viktor Hovland (+2300). Marc Leishman, the defending champion, is at +3300, while last week’s winner, Kim, is at +3700.
Other prominent names include two-time Farmers winner Jason Day (+3700), Rickie Fowler (+7500), Jordan Spieth (+8000) and Phil Mickelson (+13000). Mickelson failed to make the cut at The American Express but managed his first-ever round of 18 consecutive pars.