2016 Farmers Insurance Open Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Following the annual birdie plethora that is the Bob Hope Classic (I mean the CareerBuilder Challenge), onward the PGA Tour treks to one of the best venues on the annual rota in Torrey Pines, site for this week’s Farmers Insurance Open.  Stunning Pacific Ocean views, a major championship host course, some random paragliding dudes in the background, a super stacked field and boom, we’re in a for a fantastic week of PGA Tour action baby!

The Torrey Pines South Course, host of the 2008 U.S. Open that Tiger won on one leg and co-host of this week’s event, is known for its super-beefiness, as at 14,839 yards, it’s by far the longest course that the PGA Tour visits each season.  Haha, ok yeah, I tossed in a little sarcasm there as it “only” plays at 7,698 yards when fully tipped out and usually plays to a stroke average of anywhere from 73.5 to 74 strokes (par 72).  Oh yeah, that’s right at sea level too, so it’s a “true” yardage.  Yowza.  Its teeny little brother, the Torrey Pines North Course measures just 7,052 yards, which played once by each player in the field either Thursday or Friday is where much of the under-par scoring will happen this week.

A standout week for my picks last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge as my Semi-Flier Jason Dufner took home the trophy and I spot on nailed previously red hot Jason Bohn to miss the cut.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Reed t-56th)

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson
– “I feel like driving the ball is very easy for me right now. Even though it’s never been in the past. But my swing is on plane and so the club is being delivered into the ball from a much shallower angle of attack and on plane, I’m able to release it and hit the ball fairly straight. So it doesn’t feel like it’s hard work to hit the ball straight or get it in those fairways. And that allows me to play the way I like to play, which is aggressive.”  Yep, that’s what Phil said during last week’s CareerBuilder Challenge, in which he finished t-3rd.  Phil Mickelson actually consistently hitting fairways is a VERY dangerous thing for the rest of the field.  Normally, when a player breaks up with Butch Harmon, I’d call them nuts, but in this case it’s simply Phil being Phil, and no question in my mind that there’s plenty of room remaining in his trophy case even at the ripe age of 45.  Phil has always had an affinity for Torrey Pines, as proven by his 3-time champ track record and this being his 27th appearance (27!).  I expect Phil to be in contention on Sunday again this week with winning upside.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Dufner WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER)

Jamie Lovemark
Jamie Lovemark
– Don’t let his Sunday 73 last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge throw you off his scent, he’s simply playing the level of golf that golf geeks like myself expected him to play right out of the professional gates seven years ago after his standout amateur career.  Now with some nagging injuries safely behind him, he’s primed and ready to continue his hot play.  Lovemark attended Torrey Pines High School and in 4/5 cuts made in his career at the Farmers Insurance Open.  Safe to say that he’ll have some friends and family rooting him on in the gallery this week, so with that added boost plus his string of three straight top-10 finishes on Tour and yeah, watch for some more noise from my Semi-Flier pick this week (CareerBuilder champ Jason Dufner was my pick in this spot last week).

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Bohn MC)

Emiliano Grillo
Emiliano Grillo
– The 23-year-old Argentinian is rested since a t-33rd at the Sony Open and undoubtedly has more victories in his future, but as a Torrey Pines first-timer and a player who sprays the ball off the tee, take my word and stay away this week.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last week: Molinari t-62nd)

Cameron Tringale
Cameron Tringale
– The native Californian enters the week in some of the best, most consistent form of his career, most recently with a t-14th finish last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.  He’s five for his last five here at Torrey Pines, including a t-4th back in 2012.  Now in his 8th full season on the PGA Tour he’s poised and ready to breakout.  Cameron Tringale is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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