2023 Farmers Insurance Open Preview: Everything You Need To Know About Torrey Pines

Written By John Haslbauer on January 22, 2023 - Last Updated on January 23, 2023
Farmers Insurance Open odds

Next stop, San Diego. The PGA TOUR leaves putting contests behind and heads to one of the more storied championship golf courses in the United States. Torrey Pines’ North and South courses are on tap to host the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open. Below, we’ll look at Farmers Insurance Open odds and preview the courses.

Torrey Pines’ South course– which will host three of the four rounds this week– is annually one of the longest setups on the TOUR, measuring over 7,700 yards. The distance alone gives this event the feel of a Major Championship. Its leaderboards over the years have been reminiscent of the same. A combination of Driving Distance, Proximity form 200+ yards, top-tier short game, and scoring in difficult comp conditions will be crucial this week, which will serve as a nice contrast from the birdie-fests we’ve followed over the last two months.

Here’s a look at everything you can expect at the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Click on odds to bet now.

2023 OPENING FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN ODDS: THE FAVORITES

Find players with odds shorter than 20-1 when odds open Monday morning. Scroll to the bottom to compare complete outright odds across major sportsbooks in your state.

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
J. Rahm
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+450
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+390
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+450
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+450
X. Schauffele
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+1200
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+1200
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+1200
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+1200
T. Finau
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+1200
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+1200
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+1400
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+1200
C. Morikawa
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+1400
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+1200
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+1200
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+1400
J. Thomas
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+1400
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+1300
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+1600
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+1400
W. Zalatoris
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+1600
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+1400
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+1600
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+1600
S. Im
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+1800
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+2000
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+2200
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+1800

THE FIELD AT A GLANCE

The field of 156 for the Farmers Insurance Open is an improvement over the depth of talent we’ve seen over the first two full field events, but still comes up noticeably short of the quality we’re used to seeing in this renowned event. Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, and Patrick Cantlay have each surprisingly elected to skip this event, leaving Jon Rahm as the lone OWGR top-5 player to tee it up this week. He’ll also be joined by Xander Schauffele, Will Zalatoris, Justin Thomas, and Collin Morikawa to represent a total of five OWGR top-10 players in this field as the presumptive favorites. In a second tier, Tony Finau, Sungjae Im, Max Homa, Jason Day, and Taylor Montgomery figure to post amongst the top of the board when odds are released Monday.

Luke List is back to defend his title after edging past Will Zalatoris in a playoff to pick up his first career PGA TOUR victory last year. Other past winners of this event returning to the field this week include Justin Rose, Jason Day, Jon Rahm, and Scott Stallings.

INTRODUCTION TO TORREY PINES NORTH & SOUTH COURSES

This week we’re back to a two-course rotation as players rotate between the North and South courses on Wednesday and Thursday. You read that correctly– for the second year in a row now, the PGA TOUR has elected to move play one day earlier, in order to avoid going head-to-head with the NFL’s Conference Championship games Sunday.

After the standard 36-hole cut, the top-65 and ties play Friday and Saturday on the South Course. ShotLink is only equipped on the South Course, so any historical Strokes Gained data at The Farmers will only go as far as the South Course will show us. It will also be useful to reference performance in the 2021 U.S. Open this week, with all four rounds being played on a more difficult version of the South Course for that event.

Why The North Course Matters

Scoring on the North Course is significantly easier than on the South, playing as another Par-72, 500 yards shorter. On average, the North Course has played 2-3 strokes easier than the South Course. It’s crucial to post a low number on your round at the North Course. We’ve seen players win or lose this tournament based on that one round.

In 2021, Patrick Reed opened with an 8-under 64 on the North Course. He shot 6-under over his next three rounds on the South Course, and could have won by only shooting 2-under across those three days. In 2019, Justin Rose opened with a 9-under 63 on the North Course and won after shooting a collective 12-under over his next three days on the South Course. In 2018, Jason Day shot an 8-under 64 on the North Course, shot three rounds in the 70s on the South Course, and still won at 10-under par.

Winning scores haven’t exceeded -15 in nine of the last 10 years, so it’s crucial to go low on your round at the North Course. Historically speaking, if you don’t post a round in the 60s on the North Course, you’ve effectively eliminated yourself from winning this tournament. The top-10 players in this field in terms of SG: TOT on the North Course alone are Jon Rahm, Tony Finau, Beau Hossler, Ryan Palmer, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Bill Haas, Harris English, Gary Woodland, and Alex Smalley.

Torrey Pines Weather

Since we’re right on the coast of San Diego, weather will be a factor here, primarily on the South Course. Dramatic winds and rain have shifted the dynamic of this event in years past, most notably for Brandt Snedeker‘s win in 2016. He posted a final score of -6 with a round of 69 on Sunday. Sunday’s round was cut short due to unplayable weather and trickled into Monday where storming conditions consisted. Scott Brown was the co-leader going into Sunday and shot 87 to finish in 49th; one of the worst T40 beats of all time to this day.

This year, the San Diego area has experienced heavy rainfall leading in to tournament week. Here is a recent quote from Torrey Pines’ Director of Agronomy:

“We have seen years with precipitation totals much higher than what we are seeing, but it is the frequency and consistency that these storms have hit that has given the property little time to dry down. With a few rain events still projected between now and tournament, I’m expecting the course to play longer and thicker than it already does. Should be fun.”

Assuming these conditions hold, less rollout in the fairways and thicker rough will mean an even steeper challenge to overcome for any players sacrificing distance to the field.

One of the Longest Courses

Torrey Pines is not the most glamorous course on TOUR from an architectural standpoint, as it’s a fairly simplistic and linear design. The identity of the course is its length. Since 2015, the South Course at Torrey Pines has played as the longest course on TOUR, 7,765 yards long. Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course, host of the 2021 PGA Championship, is the only venue to have played longer than the Torrey Pines South Course since 2015. Surprisingly, it hasn’t been a pure bomber’s paradise as evidenced by wins from recent shorter hitters like Patrick Reed, Marc Leishman, and Brandt Snedeker. Despite these exceptions, distance has continued to prove favorable year over year.

Torrey Pines yields one of the highest missed fairway percentages on TOUR with its narrow fairways and steady diet of drivers off the tee. The influence of the weather and small, firm greens have also yielded a lower-than-average Greens In Regulation percentage, which puts an emphasis on class short game and scrambling. The South Course at Torrey Pines has played as the most difficult course for putting. Tricky Poa greens offer a distinct advantage to experienced players on Poa who found success putting at Torrey Pines historically.

How It Breaks Down

The South Course is heavily concentrated with seven par-4s measuring over 450 yards. It also features three par-3s over 200 yards and two par-5s over 600 yards, all reminiscent of a classic Major Championship venue. This places significant emphasis on long-iron approaches from beyond 200 yards, with about one-third of approach shots coming from this distance.

The par-5s on the South Course are the only four holes which feature a scoring average below par. Players need to be prepared to grind for pars and take advantage of rare scoring opportunities that come from the par-5s.

On the North Course, there are 10 holes with a scoring average below par, including two short par-5s with a Birdie or Better rate of nearly 60%.

TORREY PINES NORTH & SOUTH COURSE SPECS

  • Yards: 7,258 (North), 7,765 (South)
  • Par (North & South): 72 (4x 3s / 10x 4s / 4x 5s)
  • Greens: Bent (North), Poa (South)
  • Rough (North & South): 3.5″ Rye overseed
  • Average Green Size: 6,000 sq. ft. (North), 5,000 sq. ft. (South)
  • Average Fairway Width: 25.5 yards (North), 27.3 yards (South)
  • Architect (North): William Bell (Tom Weiskopf renovation in 2016)
  • Architect (South): William Bell (Rees Jones renovation in 2001)
  • Historical Cut Line: -2
  • Comp Courses: Muirfield Village, Bethpage Black, Quail Hollow, Club De Golf Chapultepec, Bay Hill, Riviera CC, Winged Foot, TPC Harding Park, Olympia Fields, The Ocean Course
North Course (7,258 Yards)
South Course (7,765)

FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN ODDS: BETTING TRENDS & COURSE HISTORY

YearWinnerPre-Tournament OddsWinning ScoreField Median Score
2022Luke List+8000-15-6
2021Patrick Reed+2500-14-2
2020Marc Leishman+5500-15-4
2019Justin Rose+1400-21-7
2018Jason Day+2200-10-1
2017Jon Rahm+5500-13-4
2016Brandt Snedeker+1800-6+4
2015Jason Day+1300-9-1
2014Scott Stallings+25000-9-1
2013Tiger Woods+750-14-2

The cream tends to rise to the top in this event, as six of the last 10 winners have opened at 25-1 odds or shorter. Despite Luke List’s surprise win at 80-1 last year, this is an event bettors will want exposure to one of the top tier players in the field at.

The winning score fell in the range of -9 to -15 in seven of the last 10 years. It only surpassed -20 once (2019) under uncharacteristically difficult conditions. Birdies come at a premium and any players who reach double-digits will find themselves in contention.

Course History

All eyes will be on Jon Rahm. He enters this event hotter than any golfer in the world right now. Rahm heads to a “comfort course” which he’s already won twice (2017 Farmers Insurance Open, 2021 U.S. Open). Rahm’s experience at Torrey Pines has been nothing short of dominant, posting finishes of 1st, T29, T5, T2, T7, 1st, and T3 in seven career appearance. He is the man to beat this week.

This will be another week to consider chasing course history. There are seven players who have posted multiple T10 finishes over the last five years: Jon Rahm, Ryan Palmer, Justin Rose, Tony Finau, Jason Day, Luke List, and Will Zalatoris. An additional seven players have recorded multiple top-20 finishes over the same span: Hideki Matsuyama, Gary Woodland, Lanto Griffin, Keegan Bradley, Max Homa, Michael Thompson, and J.B. Holmes.

12 players avoided missing the cut here over the last five years (min. three appearances): Jon Rahm, Ryan Palmer, Luke List, Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im, Keegan Bradley, Matthew NeSmith, Cam Davis, John Huh, Joseph Bramlett, Bill Haas, and Grayson Murray.

The top 10 players in this field in terms of total strokes gained at Torrey Pines are: Jon Rahm, Jason Day, Tony Finau, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama, Ryan Palmer, Keegan Bradley, Luke List, Justin Thomas, and Gary Woodland. That list displays a clear trend of players with proven track records in Majors, length off the tee, and an ability to scramble for pars in difficult conditions.

Although course history has proven to be repeatable, debutants have not been limited from finding success here. Aaron Rai, Austin Smotherman, Taylor Montgomery, Taylor Pendrith, and Sahith Theegala each impressed with top-25 finishes in their debuts in 2022.

Comp Courses

The identity of the Torrey Pines South Course lies primarily in its length. However, it offers a unique combination of narrow fairways, thick, penal rough; and firm, hard to hold Poa greens. It’s no surprise the South course was tapped to host the U.S. Open most recently in 2021, as these are the foundational characteristics of the modern Major Championship venue.

Given the recent stretch of birdie-fests I’m weighing more emphasis on performance in comp difficult conditions to refine my player pool this week. I am comfortable overlooking some recent results if a player profiles well on a course that favors driving distance, long iron play, and short game, particularly on west coast Poa greens.

Starting with recent Major venues; Bethpage Black, Winged Foot, TPC Harding Park, Quail Hollow, and The Ocean Course each feature the common characteristics of length, penal rough, and difficult-to-hold green complexes that have put an emphasis on top-tier touch around the greens. TPC Harding Park is the only venue from that mix located on the west coast.

From an agronomy standpoint, Riviera CC and Golf Club de Chapultepec may share the most in common with Torrey Pines. They both feature West Coast Poa greens, thick rough, difficult overall scoring conditions, and overlapping success from players like Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, and Patrick Reed.

Bay Hill, Muirfield Village, and Olympia Fields each also share in common an advantage to longer hitters, difficult scoring conditions, and a high volume of approach shots from thick, penal rough.

The top-10 players in SG: TOT at these comp courses are Collin Morikawa, Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Will Zalatoris, Tony Finau, Max Homa, Sungjae Im, Justin Thomas, Jason Day, and Hideki Matsuyama. It’s not that surprising to see this group filled with Major winners and perennial Major contenders.

KEY STATS TO CONSIDER FOR 2023 FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN ODDS

  • Driving Distance / SG: OTT
  • SG: APP
  • SG: Short Game / Scrambling Gained
  • Prox: 200+
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • Par 4: 450-500
  • Par 5: 550-600
  • SG: P (Poa)
  • Course & Comp Course History

We have seen players who lack distance still find success here. However, sacrificing distance to the field on a 7,765 yard course is going to put enormous pressure on your short game, especially if the course does go on to play as soft as it is expected to. I’m looking to hone in on players who are at least above average in Driving Distance this week.

We’ll also see a premium on scoring in the P4: 450-500 and P5: 550-600 ranges and an emphasis on Proximity 200+. Over 33% of approach shots at Torrey Pines come from at least 200 yards out. Five players rank top-50 in each of these distance metrics: Will Zalatoris, Justin Thomas, Wyndham Clark, Kurt Kitayama, and MJ Daffue.

The ideal blueprint for success here is to hit it long and accurately off the tee. However, added importance is on a strong short game, particularly on Poa. Six players rank above average in Driving Distance, SG: OTT, Scrambling, SG: Short Game, and SG: Putting (Poa): Xander Schauffele, Will Zalatoris, Jon Rahm, Max Homa, Jason Day, and Patrick Rodgers.

Importance In Putting

Poa putting is of particular importance this week. We usually only get to see these distinctly bumpy and imperfect greens during the California swing, favoring the local Californians. Year over year, Torrey Pines proves to be the most difficult course on TOUR to hit putts inside 15 feet. Identifying players who are most comfortable on Poa greens is crucial. The top 10 Poa putters in this week’s field are: Xander Schauffele, Mark Hubbard, Zac Blair, Jon Rahm, Wyndham Clark, Jimmy Walker, Max Homa, Maverick McNealy, Justin Suh, and Brice Garnett.

The ideal player this week should rate out well in terms of 2023 Season Form, Comp Course History, and performance in comp conditions (7,400+ course length, Difficult Scoring, and Thick Rough), along with the pre-requisites Driving Distance and long-range approach prowess. There are just nine players who rank above-average in each of those categories: Xander Schauffele, Will Zalatoris, Jon Rahm, Max Homa, Cam Davis, Emiliano Grillo, Jhonattan Vegas, Keegan Bradley, and Davis Thompson.

Correlated Stats

Looking at the top correlated stats for this week, SG: APP, SG: Short Game, and P5: 550-600 make the most notable jump inside the top-10 at the Farmers Insurance Open. The importance of Par-3 Scoring and SG: OTT is relatively less at this event than TOUR average. Across the board, Distance and Short Game stats like Prox 200+, Driving Distance, SG: ARG, and 3-Putt Avoidance saw the largest jump in importance compared to TOUR average, while Fairways Gained saw the least correlation with success.

Top-10 Correlated Stats with SG: TOT
Top-10 Correlated Stats with SG: TOT at Torrey Pines (South)

11 players who rate out above average in all 10 categories: Tony Finau, Will Zalatoris, Sungjae Im, Jason Day, Ben Griffin, Kurt Kitayama, Ben Taylor, Taylor Moore, Martin Laird, Stephan Jaeger, and Max Homa.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: MAX HOMA

It goes without saying that Jon Rahm is the most suitable play for this event. It may also go without saying that Max Homa is a really good play in the state of California. But history has continued to show that sportsbooks are reluctant to price Homa as an elite talent, so I’ll make the case for him here in anticipation of him falling into a third tier on the board.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Homa picked up three wins in the state of California since 2021, including his victory at the Fortinet Championship four starts ago. Over that span, Homa ranks No. 1 in this field in terms of SG: TOT on West Coast Poa courses. Over the last three years, Homa played 12 events on West Coast Poa courses between the Farmers Insurance Open, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Genesis Invitational, and Fortinet Championship. He has one missed cut and 11 top-20 finishes across those events.

The data is clear: Homa is a West Coast killer and his numbers on Poa back up the familiar home narrative, ranking No. 7 in SG: P on Poa greens. Homa’s shown great promise at the Farmers Insurance Open with a T18 and T9 over his last three starts and now enters in better leading form than ever before. Homa is the only player this week to rank above-average in Driving Distance and top-20 in Prox: 200+, Scrambling Gained, and Comp Course History.

A perfect fit for the course, I’ll be looking to build my card around Homa at expected odds around 35-1.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR AT THE 2023 FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN

The prevailing narrative in store this week centers around how to handle Rahm. Some may consider even betting the “Without Jon Rahm” markets this week or extending outright bets to Each Ways to hedge against Rahm’s dominance both recently and historically at this event. I’ll probably treat this as any other week and take my chances on the field of 155 versus Rahm and capitalize on inflated odds for everyone else.

It will also be interesting to see how oddsmakers adjust for shorter hitters like Collin Morikawa this week. Soft conditions seem to shift the advantage to the bombers more so this year than usual.

With all the course-fit profiles in mind, I’m leaning early toward the player pool below. Naturally, I’m looking their way in the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open odds as well. I’ve broken the list down by projected pricing/odds tier for DraftKings:

For my model in Fantasy National this week, I’m prioritizing Course & Comp Course History, SG: APP, SG: ARG, Driving Distance, and SG: T2G (Comp Difficult Conditions), followed by a more balanced mix of Bogey Avoidance, Scrambling Gained, Prox: 200+, Par 4: 450-500, SG: P (Poa), and Par-5 Scoring.

Model Favorites

Xander Schauffele claims No. 1 honors in the model. The San Diego hometown narrative doesn’t have the same allure as in past years, considering he’s since moved to Las Vegas and enters with questions about his health. That said, he looked significantly improved from his Sentry Tournament of Champions showing and The AmEx last week, so assuming no further set backs, he’ll make for an interesting contrarian play this week.

After Schauffele, my model’s top 10 is rounded out by: Tony Finau, Will Zalatoris, Jon Rahm, Max Homa, Sungjae Im, Justin Thomas, Cam Davis, Jason Day, and Hideki Matsuyama.

As much as I’d love to deploy a single-bullet Jon Rahm card, I don’t expect for odds to allow for that. Assuming Rahm is available no longer than 6-1 odds, I’ll instead look to the mid-range and take my chances that Rahm misses a few more putts on these tricky Poa greens, and does not win this event, as has happened in each of the last five years at The Farmers. I’m most drawn to Max Homa, Taylor Pendrith, and Kurt Kitayama as potential value bets, but will keep a close eye on where the odds fall this Monday.

Thanks for reading, and good luck navigating 2023 Farmers Insurance Open odds!

2023 FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN OPENING ODDS

John Haslbauer Avatar
Written by
John Haslbauer

John Haslbauer writes about golf betting and advanced golf metrics for TheLines.com. He is a passionate golf fan, golf writer, and (casual) golfer. A graduate at Syracuse University, John works out of Jersey City as a Director of Media Strategy for HBO and HBO Max. He created the website thepgatout.com at the start of 2021 and is active on Twitter (@PGATout). No, he is not a tout. The Twitter handle is a joke. Touts are lame. We hate touts.

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