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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS Course History - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open

Hello PGA DFS family and welcome back to Horse For The Course! I normally use this space to recap the previous week's tournament, but rather than spending time on the AmEx, I'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge my friend and RotoBaller colleague, Spencer Aguiar. Spencer has long been one of the best PGA analysts in the world in both the DFS and gambling industries. This past week he was honored with a nomination for Golf Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. It is a well-deserved - and overdue - acknowledgment. It feels appropriate to offer a huge shoutout and big congratulations to my buddy in this week's article. If you guys aren't already following his work here at RotoBaller, go fix that right now.

With the three-ring (course) circus that is the AmEx now in the books, we head to glorious Torrey Pines for one of the best tournaments on the West Coast Swing...the Farmers Insurance Open, an event that will - in an unusual twist - be held Wednesday through Saturday this year.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

Featured Promo: Get any DFS Premium Bundle for for 30% off using code SUMMER! Win more with expert advice from proven winners and exclusive DFS tools. Get instant access to RotoBaller's Lineup Optimizers, Research Stations, daily picks and VIP chat rooms across 10 sports! Go Premium, Win More!

 

2022 Farmers Insurance Open

Perhaps it is due to its placement on the schedule between two Pro-Am events, but the Farmers Insurance Open always feels substantial. Maybe the heightened sense of importance is due to the fact that the Farmers is held at a highly-respected Torrey Pines complex that hosted its second U.S. Open last year? Or it might be the stout field that annually turns up?

Whatever the reason, the Farmers holds a high level of importance on the golf calendar and seems to push away the relaxed atmosphere of 2022's previous tournaments. This one matters and a field full of the world's best golfers all want to add a win at Torrey Pines to their resume. Defending Farmers champion Patrick Reed will have a tough time repeating against a field that includes some of the best players on the PGA Tour. Jon Rahm and Hideki Matsuyama are a couple of the recent major winners that will be in attendance. We'll also see some players that don't often have the Farmers on their schedule, as Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, and Bryson DeChambeau have all decided to visit Torrey Pines this year. Yeah...this field is stacked.

As I mentioned in the intro, in an attempt to dodge competing with the NFL for viewers, this year's Farmers will start on Wednesday and run through Saturday. It's unusual and might throw your normal PGA DFS research routine off a bit, so don't forget to have those lineups set early! The Farmers also throws a small curve at us due to the fact that it utilizes both Torrey Pines South & North courses over the first two days of the tournament. This is a setup that we've come to expect over the years and we know that the North layout plays much easier than the South. With most of the incidentals out of the way...let's dive into the Farmers!

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Torrey Pines

South Course: Par 72 - 7,765 Yards, Greens: Poa Annua, Designed By: William Bell

North Course: Par 72 - 7,258, Greens: Bent w/ Poa, Designed By: William Bell

While nothing like last week's American Express, we are again faced with rotating courses this week. Over the first two rounds, players will play once on Torrey Pines South and once on Torrey Pines North. Those that make the cut will finish out the weekend on the South course, the more famous and difficult of the two.

The South Course hosted last year's U.S. Open if that gives you any indication as to its quality. While we won't see U.S. Open-tough conditions this week, the two courses are vastly different with the North playing much easier than the difficult South.

Players will need to take advantage of their round on the North and survive the South in order to play on the weekend. The cut line is often around even or a few shots over par. Players that make the cut will play both weekend rounds on the South course and it can be brutal. Even with a non-U.S. Open setup it is long and mean with thick rough. The South course will test every facet of a player's tee-to-green game. This will send me toward targeting players with complete games rather than a specific strength with an emphasis on golfers that have a history of performing well on tough courses.

Check out RotoBaller's PGA Premium Course Breakdown by Josh Bennett for an in-depth breakdown of this week's golf course!

 

Recent Farmers Winners

  • 2021: Patrick Reed (-14)
  • 2020: Marc Leishman (-15)
  • 2019: Justin Rose (-21)
  • 2018: Jason Day (-10)
  • 2017: Jon Rahm (-13)

 

Event Notes

  • Patrick Reed is the defending Farmers champion. His 2021 win was not without controversy, as his third-round tactics with an embedded ball kicked off a rules firestorm last year.
  • Golfers will play one round each on Torrey's North & South courses before those that make the 36-hole cut (Top-65 and ties) spend the entire weekend on Torrey South.
  • This week's field includes six of the OWGR's top-10 golfers. (Rahm, Johnson, Thomas, Schauffele, DeChambeau, & Matsuyama)
  • Notables in the Farmers' field: Daniel Berger, Sam Burns, Tony Finau, Sungjae Im, Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, & Will Zalatoris
  • Torrey Pines South is the longest course in regular rotation on the PGA Tour schedule.

 

The Horse

Jon Rahm

Notable Course History: Win (2021 - U.S. Open), T7 ('21 - Farmers), 2nd ('20), T5 ('19), Win ('17)
DraftKings Price: TBD FanDuel Price: TBD

As I'm writing this I'm realizing that Jon Rahm was also the Horse in last week's AmEx article. I apologize for the redundancy, but the good plays are the good plays. Rahm simply can't be ignored this week, as he heads to Torrey as the defending U.S. Open champion (it was played on the South Course) and with an elite Farmers track record that includes a victory and three top-seven finishes since 2017. The Spaniard is the only player teeing it up this week that possesses a career sub-70 scoring average (69.45) in this event.

I'm not gonna spend much time on statistical notes since you can probably glean that the world's top-ranked player grades out pretty well statistically. That said, I'll simply remind you that Rahm's game has basically no weaknesses and that he ranks first in this Farmers' field in both SG: Total & T2G over his last 50 measured rounds.

The well-rounded nature of the Spaniard's game is highlighted by his elite combination of length and accuracy off the tee. For the 2020-21 season, Rahm finished first on the PGA Tour in Total Driving while still averaging a massive 309 yards in driving distance. It's a formula that works well on this behemoth of a layout and is why winners of the Farmers routinely rank inside the top-25 on Tour in driving distance.

 

The Ponies

Tony Finau

Notable Course History: T2 ('21), T6 ('20), T6 ('18), T4 ('17)
DraftKings Price: TBD FanDuel Price: TBD

Like the aforementioned Rahm, Tony Finau is automatically at the top of the list when it comes to any type of Torrey Pines course history discussion. Despite four top-six finishes in the Farmers since 2017, Finau doesn't have an actual win at Torrey - a bugaboo that is often a talking point when it comes to Big Tony.

A win in last year's FedEx Cup Playoffs certainly helped to muffle the "Tony can't win" narrative. If that sizable monkey is now indeed off his back and the winning floodgates are in fact open, this Farmers event where he's experienced so much prior success makes all the sense in the world as a spot for him to pick up another victory.

 

Xander Schauffele

Notable Course History: T7 ('21 - U.S. Open), T2 ('21 - Farmers), T25 ('19), MC ('20, '18, '17)
DraftKings Price: TBD FanDuel Price: TBD

Xander Schauffele's Torrey Pines game log isn't going to read like the other players featured in this week's HFTC. However, there are some extenuating circumstances here that indicate Schauffele is trending in the right direction in his relationship with Torrey.

The La Jolla, California native grew up playing his high school golf at Torrey Pines and has publicly discussed his love for the course. Unfortunately, his hometown track has proven to be repeatedly unkind to him during his pro career, as Schauffele missed the Farmers cut in four of his first five starts in the event.

Playing with a "homecourt advantage" isn't always as great as it seems for golfers, as being in your hometown for an event can sometimes create distractions. Whatever the X-Man's issues were, his last two Torrey starts indicate that he's figured them out. He popped for a runner-up finish in last year's edition of the Farmers and notched a rock-solid T7 in the Torrey South-hosted U.S. Open. Xander gained a combined 18 strokes T2G in his two 2021 starts at Torrey (Farmers & U.S. Open), a mark that exceeds even Jon Rahm's combined total of 16.2, as well as anyone else's that is teeing it up this week.

 

Did you know RotoBaller has a Premium DFS PGA subscription?

Like what you read today? You can show your support for Joe by using the discount code NICE when purchasing a PGA Premium Pass. You get 10% off and full access to all of our Premium PGA articles, DFS tools, and Lineup Optimizer! You also get access to weekly betting picks from Spencer Aguiar, one of the top betting minds in the industry. Spencer is absolutely crushing out of the gate in 2022!

 

Ryan Palmer

Notable Course History: T2 ('21), T21 ('20), T13 ('19), T2 ('18)
DraftKings Price: TBD FanDuel Price: TBD

Ryan Palmer might not seem like a natural fit for Torrey Pines at first glance, but the Texan has been straight money on the California layout in recent years. Palmer has posted a pair of runner-up finishes in the Farmers since 2017 and hasn't recorded a finish worse than T21 in his last four starts in this event.

Despite being 45-years-old, Palmer remains sneaky long. He finished the 2020-21 season ranked an eye-opening 38th on the PGA Tour in driving distance. That ability off the tee - which helped him finish 31st on the Tour in Total Driving last season - enables him to navigate this pair of Torrey tracks that reward excellence off the tee.

While we center most of our course research for this event around Torrey South (as we should), we shouldn't underestimate how much Palmer's mastery of the less-discussed North course has contributed to his success in the Farmers. Over his last four starts in this event, the veteran ranks fifth in SG: Total on Torrey North.

Palmer's course history alone is enough to put him in the DFS conversation this week, but his recent form truly propels him into short-list consideration. He heads to the Farmers off a strong T12 outing at the Sony Open in which he gained a notable 6.2 strokes T2G. If we stretch back to the Swing Season, Palmer has gained strokes T2G, OTT, and on Approach in each of his last three starts.

 

Brandt Snedeker

Notable Course History: T3 ('20), T9 ('17), Win ('16 & '12)
DraftKings Price: TBD FanDuel Price: TBD

While most try to attack this lengthy Torrey layout with brute force, Brandt Snedeker's career Farmers record proves that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Sneds is a two-time Farmers Open champion (2012 & 2016) and also has four additional top-four finishes spread across his 15 career starts. The light hitter out of Vandy is one of the shorter hitters on the PGA Tour, but he's tamed Torrey in the past by simply staying out of the penal rough off the tee and relying on his elite putting. The strategy has worked, as his event scoring average of 70.48 ranks third in this week's field among those with two or more Farmers' starts.

The 41-year-old's play has been noticeably less consistent in recent years, but he's looked sharp in his two 2022 starts, notching a T36 in the Sony Open and a T14 at the AmEx, an effort in which he carded 24 birdies and an eagle on the week while leading the field in driving accuracy.

 

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Our very own Joe Nicely took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS and Betting content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win more.

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