2017 Farmers Insurance Open Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

From the surprisingly soggy Palm Springs desert we go to the edge of the coast near La Jolla for this week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.  There are many courses that become recognizable to the masses over the years on the PGA Tour schedule, but Torrey is a cut above the rest.  Stunning Pacific Ocean views, a major championship-caliber course, para-sailors happily drifting around, an incredibly stacked field and boom, we’re in for a big week of PGA Tour action.

The Torrey Pines South Course is not only recognizable and memorable for its magnificent ocean views, but also for its extra-beefiness as it plays 11,582 yards from the tips.  Ha, ok yeah, a little sarcasm there, as it “only” plays 7,698 yards when fully tipped out, making it the longest course on Tour.  But, the PGA Tour honchos usually gives the guys a “break” on a couple tee boxes each round, making it play in the 7,450 yard range each day.  So yeah, at sea level, that’s still a whole gulp full of beefiness.  I just used “beefiness” twice in the same paragraph.  So yeah, we could be in for a wild week.

Note that the tourney is also played on the Torrey Pines North Course for one of the first two rounds, which used to be a mere pushover, but was recently renovated by Tom Weiskopf and now checks in at 7,258 yards.  The routing was redone to route the course’s inward nine towards the ocean, so it’s a fabulous climax at the end of the round.  The North Course also now has bentgrass greens, which are notably different than the South’s poa surfaces.  Look for the scoring splits between tracks to be much closer than in recent years.

My picks last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge were mighty stellar, as all 3 players made the cut and my Semi-Flier on Adam Hadwin finished runner-up and oh yeah, he shot a 59 on Saturday too.  I also spot on nailed Jamie Lovemark to miss the cut, which he did by a whopping 8 shots.

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

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Casey t-58th)

Justin Rose
Justin Rose
– It’s not often that I’ll be all aboard someone when their track record at a particular venue shows 4 for 7 in cuts made with a t-22nd being their highest finish (that’s especially poor for someone of Rose’s caliber); however, I’m predicting that Rose will greatly improve on his highest ever finish at Torrey Pines this week.  Take note that Rose is typically someone that take a tournament or two to get going with his game for the year, as in many instances of that 4 for 7 record he was making his first stateside start of the year at Torrey.  But, this year is different as he teed it up two weeks ago in Hawaii at the Sony Open and finished runner-up to Justin Thomas.  I see Rose continuing that solid momentum this week and contending on Sunday.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Hadwin 2nd)

Marc Leishman
Marc Leishman
– It’s easy to overlook a guy like Marc Leishman in a star-studded field like this, but I’m telling you right now to not make that mistake.  In 8 career appearances at Torrey, Leishman has five finishes of t-27th or better, including two t-2nds.  He’s incredibly consistent, having only missed one cut on the PGA Tour since last May and also arrives in good form after notching a t-20th finish at the Sony Open two weeks ago.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Lovemark MC)

Adam Hadwin
Adam Hadwin
– Thank you and sorry at the same time Adam!  As mentioned above, Adam came through for me in my Semi-Flier spot last week finishing runner-up to Hudson Swafford.  Now, it’s time to say sorry in advance as that blazing form will greatly simmer as he is in for a major letdown in a stacked field.  He actually has made his past 3 cuts here at Torrey Pines, but ballooned last year on the weekend to a pair of 78s.  Expect a short week for the Canadian this week.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last week: Keegan t-12th)

Aaron Baddeley
Aaron Baddeley
– The second Aussie that I’m targeting this week carries significantly more risk than the other, but I’m digging me some Badds this week.  He’s 10 for 13 in cuts made in his career at Torrey, including 5 top 25s and also arrives in a pretty solid groove having only missed 2 cuts on the PGA Tour since the FedEx St Jude Classic in June (for Badds that’s really saying something).  Expect a sneaky solid finish from the soon-to-be 36-year-old Aussie this week.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

Comments

  1. Grayson Murray as DOTD Bold Play of the Week would have been so sexier 😜

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