PGA TOUR Golf Sleepers: 4 Potential Farmers Insurance Open Longshot Picks

Written By John Haslbauer on January 24, 2023
golf sleepers

The west coast swing continues on, with more PGA TOUR golf sleepers to uncover in San Diego for the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Luke List emerged from this article last year as a longshot primed to contend, and he of course went on to defeat Will Zalatoris in a playoff to pick up his first career PGA TOUR victory.

While there have certainly been more favorites than longshots who’ve gone on to win this event in recent years, a simple formula of driving distance, short game, and proven results at Torrey Pines or other comparable difficult set ups have proven predictive, even for longshots buried at the bottom of the odds board or DFS pricing.

Let’s get to our 2023 Farmers Insurance Open longshots and sleepers for your DFS lineups and betting cards. Click on the odds anywhere below to bet now on the best available prices in your state. 


The Farmers Insurance Open will continue its usual place on the PGA TOUR schedule this week, rotating between the Torrey Pines North & South courses for the first two days before concluding with the final two rounds on the South Course. The South Course is the longest non-Major venue on the schedule each year, standing over 7,700 yards as a par-72. Its narrow fairways, thick rough, and tricky Poa greens have combined to make a stern test for the field, rarely producing a winner beyond -15.

In the shortest of terms, Torrey Pines accentuates the importance of Driving Distance and short game. The list of contenders over the years have shared strength in both areas in common, however elite short game specialists have also proven capable of overcoming their lack of distance against this 7,765 yard behemoth. With the San Diego region receiving persistent rainfall leading into this week, it appears bombers with the longest carry distance off the tee will possess an even greater advantage than in years past.

For a deeper dive into the course, read my Farmers Insurance Open preview. Without any further delay, let’s get to our Farmers Insurance Open picks with a focus on longshots and sleepers for your DFS lineups.


From a golf betting perspective, this projects to be a much shorter card than The AmEx last week, as history has proven at this event that a polished all-around tee-to-green game is what’s required to hang around this week, which has typically whittled down the longshots from contention.

In terms of DFS, there are plenty more options of value players with top-40 upside, as specialists in short game or driving distance have shown a path to making the weekend despite a lack of leading form over the Fall Swing.

Below, find my favorite value DFS options and longshots for the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open. Stats pulled across Last 36 Rounds unless otherwise noted.

Kurt Kitayama (, $7,600)

Shooting up inside the OWGR top-50 after a surging 2022 season, Kitayama is on the radar of many to be a breakout candidate in 2023. If he is to break through and pick up his first career PGA TOUR victory, it seems bound to happen on a long, driver-heavy event like the Farmers Insurance Open.

Kitayama ranks No. 18 in my model this week, and is one of only six players in this field to rank top-40 in Driving Distance, Proximity 200+, and SG: ARG, which has historically been the blueprint to gaining strokes from tee-to-green at Torrey Pines. He’s shown a bias towards longer courses that call for a steady dose of drivers off the tee, finishing runner up at the CJ Cup and Mexico Open in 2022.

A two-time DP World Tour winner, Kitayama is no stranger to closing out a tournament, and has the ideal profile needed to attack Torrey Pines, as he enters this event in better form than ever before.

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Will Gordon (, $7,400)

Gordon has passed the test of swing season birdie fests, ranking No. 8 in this field in terms of SG: TOT to kick off the 2023 season. That start includes top-15 finishes at the WWT Mayakoba Championship and RSM Classic. He brought a streak of eight consecutive made cuts to The AmEx last week, before a -8 showing through three says sent him on his way to San Diego a day earlier than planned.

Despite the early success this season, Torrey Pines is perhaps the most suitable layout to Gordon’s game he’s seen yet. Gordon ranks top-20 in terms of both Driving Distance and SG: OTT, and has shown a bias towards Poa greens as his preferred putting surface over the course of his career. He gained over 7.0 strokes putting in his last trip to Torrey Pines in 2021, and has finished a respectable T42 and T21 in his first two appearances here.

Few others in this odds/price range possess the floor of distance, course history, and recent form of Gordon, making him an appealing placement bet consideration this week.

Austin Smotherman (x, $6,700)

A California native, Smotherman looked at home in his Farmers Insurance Open debut last year, finishing T11, second to only Will Zalatoris in terms of SG: APP for the week. It’s an acquired skill to master putting on Poa greens, and one that native Californians tend to have a leg up on adapting to more easily. So at a course in Torrey Pines that ranks top-5 in putting difficulty from 5-15 feet each year, I’m encouraged by Smotherman’s early success on comp courses. In addition to the T11 here last year, he opened the 2023 season with a T25 at the Fortinet Championship where he gained 3.5 strokes putting.

One of just 10 players this week to rank top-40 in SG: OTT, SG: APP, and Proximity 200+, Smotherman’s combination of ball striking form and course history make for an appealing placement bet or DFS value streamer option.

MJ Daffue (+30000, $6,700)

The 2023 rookie is off to a bit of a shaky start to the season, but a sharp pivot from positional birdie fests to the long, difficult scoring conditions of Torrey Pines may actually present a good get right spot for the South African.

Daffue was a surprise contender entering the weekend at the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club, leaning on his strength of driving distance (No. 30) and proximity with long iron approaches (No. 45) to hang around towards the top of the leaderboard. Those are skillsets that have not been as pertinent for the Fall Swing on the PGA TOUR; however, two top-15 finishes on the DP World Tour this past December prove he may be best suited for a driver-heavy, U.S. Open-like layout such as Torrey Pines.

I’d like to see a little more form from Daffue before considering as an outright bet, but his distance and results in recent comp conditions make for an intriguing top-40 play at this price.

Best of luck if you choose to bet these PGA TOUR golf sleepers!


John Haslbauer Avatar
Written by
John Haslbauer

John Haslbauer writes about golf betting and advanced golf metrics for 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 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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