Previews and pre-event analysis from Golf Betting System's PGA Tour and European Tour coverage
To read Steve Bamford's Farmers Insurance Open tips for 2014 click here. Follow Steve on twitter: @bamfordgolf
Many see the PGA Tour's annual visit in January to Torrey Pines as the "real start" of the golfing season. The tournament always features a great field assembling in San Diego for the Farmers Insurance Open. The cliff top Torrey Pines South Course is a classical golfing test of world renown and played host to the 2008 US Open won by Tiger Woods famously with a damaged knee. The Farmers Insurance tournament plays 54 holes on the famous South Course and 18 holes at the lesser known North Course, which features Bent Poa mix greens as opposed to pure Poa annua greens. A combination of this famous golf links in combination with a bigger than standard prize fund traditionally attracts a stellar field with a huge haul of OWGR points to the winner.
Tournament Scheduling & Format
Traditionally those that take advantage of the easier North Course flourish here. At just over 7,000 yards this Par 72 isn't demanding and was ranked as the 3rd easiest course on the PGA Tour as recently as 2012. Hence any player harbouring chances of lifting the winner's trophy needs to shoot a low round. The Farmers Insurance is the mid-point of the West Coast Swing, with the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and a visit to Riviera for the Northern Trust Open featuring across the next 3 weeks of the season.
Course Rota Details
Torrey Pines South - Host Course Featuring 54 holes inc Sunday final round
Designer: Bell 1957 Rees Jones Re-design 2001 Type: Coastal & Classical Par: 72 Length: 7,698 yards Water Hazards: 1 Fairways: Kikuyugrass Rough: Perennial Rye with Kikuyugrass 3.5" Greens: 5,800 sq.ft Poa Annua Tournament Stimpmeter: 12 Ranked 21 of 49 courses for difficulty on the 2012 PGA Tour and 16 of 43 in 2013.
Torrey Pines North
Designer: Bell 1957 Rainville Re-design 1975 Type: Resort (low scoring) Par: 72 Length: 7,052 yards Water Hazards: 2 Fairways: Bermuda, Perennial Rye, Kikuyugrass mix Rough: Perennial Rye with Kikuyugrass 3.5" Greens: 4,500 sq.ft Bent with Poa Annua Tournament Stimpmeter: 10.5 Ranked 47 of 49 courses for difficulty on the 2012 PGA Tour and 35 of 43 in 2013.
Previous Champions: 2013: Tiger Woods; 2012: Brandt Snedeker; 2011: Bubba Watson; 2010: Ben Crane; 2009: Nick Watney; 2008: Tiger Woods; 2007: Tiger Woods; 2006: Tiger Woods; 2005: Tiger Woods; 2004: John Daly; 2003: Tiger Woods; 2002: Jose Maria Olazabal; 2001: Phil Mickelson 2000: Phil Mickelson Winners
Prices: 2013: Tiger Woods - 15/2 2012: Brandt Snedeker - 22/1 2011: Bubba Watson - 66/1 2010: Ben Crane - 80/1 2009: Nick Watney - 66/1
Pre Tournament Key Summary
Torrey Pines means one thing. The golf season is fully underway! Torrey Pines is a truly classical golf course and that rewards the best golfers. Cream rises to the top and the champions list is littered with quality players who have won PGA Tour events previous to crossing the finishing line here. The in-built difficulty of 54 holes around the South Course grabs the headlines, but contending in the tournament is really set-up with a low score on the easy North Course. Poa Annua & Bent Poa positive players thrive here.
Naturally the field is split across both the South and North course on Thursday and Friday, so a key question is does that favour anybody? Well winners from 2009/2010 played the North Course on the Thursday, whereas the winners across 2011/2013 played the South Course first! However the key here is to look through the weather forecast and see if there will be any tangible difference in conditions on the North Course across the Thursday and Friday. If scoring looks easier on the North on either day, those players will have a real advantage to shoot a low score on the 7,052 yard Par 72 which is very scorable.
Below we track the results of Golf Betting System PGA Tour tipster Steve Bamford who has been producing weekly tips since 2009. You can also follow him on Twitter @bamfordgolf