The first big golf draw of 2021 is the Farmer’s Insurance Open. A total of 23 players ranked in the top 50 in the world will compete at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California. That includes world No. 2 Jon Rahm, who is back on the tee after pulling out of last week’s American Express event due to a back issue.
Also, 16 players among the top 30 in the 2020-21 FedExCup points standings will be playing at Torrey Pines.
World No. 6 and two-time FedExCup Champion Rory McIlroy makes his 2021 PGA Tour debut. He enters off a third place finish in the Abu Dhabi Championship after carrying the lead into the final round. Xander Schauffele, No. 5 in the OWGR, is also in the field.
Unfortunately, Tiger Woods will not play at Torrey Pines, where he’s had great success. Woods won the Farmers Insurance Open seven times and also the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines in a playoff with a most courageous and iconic performance. But Woods announced that he underwent a microdiscectomy procedure on his back last week and is out of competitive golf for at least two more months.
Farmers Insurance odds 2021
Jon Rahm topped the odds board when it was first released at FanDuel Sportsbook at +650. Rory McIlroy was +700 at FD, Xander Schauffele was +1200 and Tony Finau was +2000.
Notable golfers in the field
McIlroy finished tied for third at last year’s Farmers Insurance Open, and Rahm finished runner-up. Rahm also won the event in 2017.
Other top players in the field include:
- Xander Schauffele (No. 5 OWGR)
- Patrick Reed (11)
- Brooks Koepka (12)
- Viktor Hovland (14)
- Matthew Wolff (15)
- Harris English (16)
- Sungjae Im (18)
- Hideki Matsuyama (20)
- Adam Scott (21)
- Tony Finau (22)
- Louis Oosthuizen (24)
- Ryan Palmer (28)
- Marc Leishman (30)
- Jason Kokrak (31)
- Cameron Smith (32)
- Scottie Scheffler (33)
- Billy Horschel (39)
- Gary Woodland (40)
- Jason Day (43)
- Bubba Watson (46)
- MacKenzie Hughes (49)
Other notables include three-time Farmers champion Phil Mickelson, 2-time champ Brandt Snedeker, Cameron Champ, Lanto Griffin and Jordan Spieth, who gets in with Tiger unable to compete. Also, Rickie Fowler, Charley Hoffman, Jamie Lovemark and Pat Perez are playing this week and all went to high school at nearby San Diego schools. So did Schauffele and Mickelson.
English, Hovland, Carlos Ortiz, Schauffele, Wolff, Kokrak and Martin Laird are top 15 in the current FedExCup points standings.
Korn Ferry points leader Will Zalatoris is also in the field on a sponsors exemption, along with two US Amateur champions and former Georgia Tech teammates – Tyler Strafaci (2020) and Andy Ogletree (2019).
Recent Farmers Insurance Open winners and runner-ups
- 2020- Marc Leishman (-15), Jon Rahm
- 2019 – Justin Rose (-21), Adam Scott
- 2018 – Jason Day * (-10), Alex Noren, Ryan Palmer
- 2017 – Jon Rahm (-13), Charles Howell, CT Pan
Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker are both 2-time winners of this event since 2012.
Golfers to watch
While the golfers at the top of the odds board and power rankings take most bets to win, you can still find value and take a shot on other players while adding top finishing position bets. Narrow your focus at Torrey Pines South Course to power players and bigger hitters. Strokes Gained: Approach remains a strong stat profile, along with SG: Tee-to-Green. Greens in Regulation will be tougher for more players this week with hard to hit fairways, longer par 4s and some thicker rough.
The North Course is in play this week in the duel-course event, and the long Par 3 at No. 12 is one of the toughest scoring holes. The courses will play a little longer on Friday with up to an 80% chance of rain in the afternoon and winds up to 20 MPH.
Here are some other golfers at longer odds to consider in your ‘Fairway Foursome’ for outright win bets and/or top finishing position. Bettors may gain added information you can bet on for select tournament match-ups.
Adam Scott (+4500 FanDuel/DraftKings): Scott is +800 to finish Top 5, which he did in his only appearance here in 2019 with a runner-up result. He was playing very well at the start of last year and then took himself off Tour for extended time during the pandemic. He’s played in just five events since the start of the new season, but two already in 2021. Match-up bettors note Scott has made the cut in all five events including two majors, but has no Top 20 finishes. Still, Scott ranks Top 15 in driving distance and is 70% in GIR in those combined events. Deciding to play at Torrey Pines tells you he’s healthy, ready and at a course he can do well again with the U.S. Open this summer also in site on the South Course. Don’t worry as much about strokes gained stats with Scott recently. He putted well enough in the 2019 event here ranking Top 15 on the South Course. The Aussie will be back in his groove soon and Torrey Pines is a prime place to start.
Hideki Matsuyama (+2900 FanDuel): Matsuyama is lower odds at other sportsbooks, but +2900 at FanDuel puts him right on our cutline for ‘Golfers to Watch’ beyond the prominent favorites. Hideki has the long game of course, and he’s No. 2 in SG: Tee-to-Green over his last 36 rounds which includes his eight starts in the new season. Matsuyama finished T3 here in 2019 behind Scott and T12 in 2018. His putting remains problematic, but he’s better than most on Poa Annua greens and also ranks Top 6 in SG: Approach and Around the Green over his last 36 rounds. Matsuyama is as capable of winning as the six players with lower odds in this event.
Cameron Davis (+6600 BetMGM): Davis is a long, lean 25-year-old Aussie with tons of talent. He’s a big hitter ranking top 10 on Tour this season, and enters off a 3rd place finish last week at The American Express just two hours North. He’s another golfer that checks the boxes in a proprietary model that includes Tee-to-Green, Distance and Birdie or Better percentage. A T36 here last year is his best in three Farmers starts, but he fell out of the Top 20 on Sunday and is playing better now.
Sam Burns (+9500 DraftKings): Burns fits near the top model profile that includes Distance and SG: Tee-to-Green. Over his last 36 rounds, he ranks No. 7 in this field in SG: Total. That includes key strokes gained stats for success at Torrey Pines of No. 3 Off-the-Tee, No. 8 Tee-to-Green and No. 2 Ball Striking. The 24-year-old has a pair of Top 10 finishes this season, and fully expect his experience around these courses the last three years will move him up as an overlooked contender. At these odds, Burns is a birdie to include along with top finishing position odds of +800 for Top 10 and +350 for Top 20, along with easy money of +225 for Top 30.
Added chip-ins and notes: We’re not including Patrick Reed (+2900) here, but Reed finished T6 in this event last year and T13 in 2019. Reed also has the highest strokes gained putting average on Poa Annua greens on the PGA Tour the last 3 seasons, according to Justin Ray Golf. That’s something to note for the 2021 U.S. Open when all four rounds are on the South Course. Tony Finau (+2100) is below the cutoff odds to include in this section, but he’s clearly one to watch having finished Top 5 here twice in the last four years plus a T6 and T13. Finau is in strong form and in a groove following a 4th place finish last week at the American Express where he held the 54 hole lead. Tony has also finished Top 10 in 34 tournaments since 2017; more than double any other player on Tour.
Course and tournament information
- Courses: Torrey Pines (North and South Courses)
- Location: La Jolla, CA
- Date: Jan. 28-31
- Par: 72 / Yardage 7,765 South and 7,258 North
- Purse: $7.5 Million / Winner $1.35 M
- Fairways/Rough: Kikuyu overseeded with
- Greens: : Poa Annua (South), Bentgrass (North)
- TV: Golf Channel (Thurs-Sun) and CBS (Sat-Sun)
- Twitter & Hashtag: @FarmersInsOpen
- Defending Champion: Marc Leishman
The first two rounds are held at both the North and South courses.
Big hitters and power players have been the ones to target with more rounds played on the longer and tougher South Course. That changes a bit this year, but look down the winners list and top finishers and you see world class players and lots of power.
Fairways are still tougher to hit on the South Course as there are long, more narrow and straight fairways with some thicker rough and little imagination in design. Additional bunkers were added to pinched-in fairways a few years ago as part of the renovation and lengthening. The greens are small and hard, averaging just over 5,000 square feet.
The North Course is shorter and more open now with trees and bunkers removed – offering more majestic views of the coastline. Larger greens to target assists scoring, and the flipped front and back holes allows the back-9 to play along the canyons and the Pacific coastline.