Well, folks, it was another close call last week with Patrick Cantlay falling one shot short of a playoff at +1300, and Abraham Ancer, one of our other selections, finishing inside the top five. If we keep knocking on the door, we'll eventually break through.
Next up is the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. This event is one of the premier PGA Tour stops on the calendar that typically hosts strong fields. With the 2021 U.S. Open being played later this year at the South Course, this week's event is no different as a number of the top players will use it as preparation for the major championship.
Alright, let's hit a winner, shall we?
2020: Marc Leishman (-15) over Jon Rahm
2019: Justin Rose (-21) over Adam Scott
2018: Jason Day (-10) in a playoff over Alex Noren, Ryan Palmer
2017: Jon Rahm (-13) over Charles Howell, C.T. Pan
2016: Brandt Snedeker (-6) over K.J. Choi
2015: Jason Day (-9) over three players
2014: Scott Stallings (-9) over four players
2013: Tiger Woods (-14) over Brandt Snedeker, Josh Teater
Jon Rahm enters as the favorite at +800. The Spaniard won at Torrey Pines in 2017 and was the runner-up to Marc Leishman last year. Assuming there are no lingering issues from the minor injury that forced him to withdraw from last week's event, Rahm should play Torrey well once again but his odds are simply too short.
Rory McIlroy is the only favorite worth considering based on his current odds. He played well in Abu Dhabi last week, posting the lowest score of the tournament in two of the four rounds. Plus, he's placed inside the top five in back-to-back years at Torrey.
It's a home game for Xander Schauffele but his history at the tournament is concerning with four missed cuts in the last five years.
Tony Finau fits the mold of a potential winner and has fantastic course history with five straight top-18 finishes including three top sixes. However, +1700 is far too short for a player who hasn't won since 2016.
|Si Woo Kim||+3500|
The case could be made for a lot of the recognizable players in this range.
One that stands out is Matthew Wolff at +3500. On paper, Torrey Pines suits Wolff's game perfectly. He's extremely long off the tee and can get scorching hot with his irons. He's also historically a much better putter on poa annua greens, which he's likely familiar with having grown up in Southern California.
Brooks Koepka at +3500 is interesting based on talent alone. However, he mentioned in his press conference last week he is using his trip to Torrey Pines more so for a scouting trip for the U.S. Open rather than placing his entire focus on winning the event.
History shows talent rises to the top at Torrey Pines, mainly because it rewards distance, which most of the top players possess.
But there are still a few long shots to consider:
Matthew Wolff (+3500)
There's too much to like about Wolff this week to ignore. The two courses are perfect for his game, which has proven more than capable of handling major championship-type tests.
In his 2021 debut last week, he gained 3.2 strokes through approach shots while losing nearly a full stroke off the tee - something he rarely does. Expect the driver to come back to life, his irons to get a little more dialed in, and his putter to heat up on a surface he tends to perform better on.
Wolff should take another step forward in his career this year, and a victory at Torrey Pines over a stout field would help elevate his status in the game.
Adam Scott (+4500)
Scott came second at Torrey in 2019 and already has two events under his belt this year. He gained 6.8 strokes through approach shots at the Tournament of Champions and gained over five off the tee at the Sony Open. His ball-striking is in a good spot heading into a tournament he likely sees worthy as one of the PGA Tour's 10-12 "serious competition" events on the schedule.
Gary Woodland (+6500)
"I borderline want to cry. It’s the first time I’ve played without pain in six months," Woodland said after last week's American Express, according to Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard.
A healthy Woodland gained four strokes tee to green last week and heads to a tournament where he's made the cut in nine of 10 attempts, which includes five top 20s. Add in the fact he's +6500 and he becomes a jarring value option to help fill out your betting card.