The PGA Tour is in San Diego this week for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course. The event will boast the strongest field so far this year, with plenty of big names like Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler kicking off their 2019 campaigns.
The tournament is split over two 18-hole layouts: the much easier 7,258-yard par-72 North Course and the 7,698-yard, par-72 South Course. Golfers will play the pair of tracks in Rounds 1 and 2 before heading to the South Course for the weekend.
Every winner of the Farmers Insurance Open since 2011 has played the South Course in Round 1, so keep that in mind when betting.
With an emphasis on ball strikers and distance off the tee, here are the best bets for this week at Torrey Pines:
Patrick Cantlay (22-1)
The Southern California native's odds opened at 28-1, and even though they've dropped slightly to 22-1, he's still a worthy wager. In his first showing of 2019 at last week's Desert Classic, Cantlay showed no signs of rust en route to finishing tied for ninth. He exhibited impeccable ball striking, which overcame poor putting on tricky Bermuda grass greens. His result marked four straight top 10s on the PGA Tour.
The long 7,700-yard South Course at Torrey Pines fits Cantlay's accuracy off the tee and proficiency with long irons perfectly. Putting on familiar poa annua greens (common in California) can only help the 26-year-old with the flatstick in hand. Tour win No. 2 is well within reach.
Luke List (66-1)
List is one of the best lesser-known players on the PGA Tour, mainly because he's never been in the winner's circle. He ranked seventh in strokes gained: tee to green last season, ahead of Woods, Tommy Fleetwood, and Bryson DeChambeau, but he was 181st of 193 in putting.
It's only a matter of time before List breaks through, and when he does, it'll come at a long, ball-striking heavy course such as the two Torrey Pines tracks. Fingers crossed his putter shows up this week.
Keith Mitchell (100-1)
Mitchell is one of the best drivers of the golf ball on Tour - he's ranked eighth in strokes gained: off the tee in 2018 - which should equate to success at Torrey Pines. However, things can unravel fairly quickly for the 27-year-old, especially when he struggles with the putter, which makes him a 100-1 longshot. Regardless, he played in the final group two weeks ago at the Sony Open, a tell-tale sign that his game is in a good place. His 30-1 top-five odds are also very enticing.
Tiger Woods (+115) over Marc Leishman
Woods is a seven-time winner of the Farmers Insurance Open and also won 2008 U.S. Open on one leg at Torrey Pines - safe to say he likes this course. Marc Leishman, on the other hand, is entering this week's event with two top fives in 2019. Even with the Aussie's recent form, getting Tiger at anything over even odds in a tournament matchup - especially at this track - seems like a steal.
If you're unfamiliar with a first-round leader bet (FRL), the crux of the wager is pinpointing a few longshots who have a good chance of getting hot for the opening round. Whether they have an early tee time (scoring is typically lower when greens are fresh in the morning) or are more volatile golfers who can make birdies in bunches, it's a fun wager for one day of action.
Abraham Ancer (50-1)
The up-and-coming Mexican loves Thursday golf. Through six opening rounds this season, he ranks seventh in Round 1 scoring average and was an impressive 17th in the same stat last year. Ancer gets to begin his Farmers Insurance Open on the easier North Course and finished in a tie for 20th in his first appearance at this event in 2018.
Harold Varner III (80-1)
Varner leaped off the page as a nice value pick for a couple of reasons. First, he's fifth in Round 1 scoring average through six rounds this season, a small sample size but notable nonetheless. He'll also start his tournament on the North Course and possesses the distance to overpower the par-72 track.
Beau Hossler (80-1)
Perhaps the best value on the board is Hossler, who demonstrated his opening-round prowess last season, posting the third-lowest scoring average on Thursdays. His putter can get blazing hot, and if it does, he'll have a great chance at leading after Day 1. He's also in the second group out on the North Course, which is a huge bonus.
Tiger Woods (12-1)
If you are a Tiger fan and think he has a chance to win at Torrey Pines for the ninth time in his career, bet him at 12-1 as the top American instead of the outright winner. His odds are the same in both scenarios, but for top American, he doesn't have to contend with the likes of Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, and Justin Rose, among others.