Farmers Insurance Open: Jon Rahm set as Betting Favorite as PGA Tour Heads to Torrey Pines

Louis Saulnier

The PGA Tour heads to Torrey Pines for the Farmers Insurance Open as it continues its West Coast swing. Torrey Pines is wildly regarded as one of the most famous municipal golf courses on the planet.

The Farmers Insurance Open, much like last week’s American Express, will be played on two separate tracks. Three of the four rounds will be played on the South Course at Torrey Pines while each golfer will play one round, either Thursday or Friday, on the North Course.

Odds to win the Farmers Insurance Open

Former winner Jon Rahm is currently set as the betting favorite at +700 with Rory McIlroy close behind him at +750.

Here are the top ten golfers on the odds list at FanDuel:

  • Jon Rahm +700
  • Rory McIlroy +750
  • Xander Schauffele +1300
  • Tony Finau +2100
  • Harris English +2300
  • Viktor Hovland +2300
  • Hideki Matsuyama +2900
  • Patrick Reed +2900
  • Scottie Scheffler +2900
  • Sungjae Im +2900

Other notable golfers who will be competing in the field this week include Brooks Koepka (+3100), Matthew Wolff (+3200), Adam Scott (+4500), and Rickie Fowler (+7500).

Odds via Fanduel as of Tuesday, January 26 (12:30 pm ET)

How to Handicap the Farmers Insurance Open

As mentioned, much like last week’s American Express, the Farmers Insurance Open will be played on two separate courses. What’s also similar to last week is that one of the courses can be virtually ignored from a betting angle. The North Course will only be played on one of the four days and it plays much easier than the South Course. Bettors can assume that whoever they wager on will have a solid day when they take on the North Course so your time spent handicapping is much more useful looking at the South Course.

The South Course is one of the longest tracks on the PGA Tour’s schedule. It’s a Par 72 measuring at over 7,700 yards. This is not an event where you’ll want to bet on shorter hitters. Kevin Kisner even admitted this prior to the Sony Open a couple of weeks back when he was asked if he could win on any course.

“I’m not going to win at Bethpage Black or Torrey Pines.”

Despite the fact that the PGA Tour gives “a lot of money for 20th”, Kiz has decided to sit out of this week’s Farmer Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. The point remains, Kevin Kisner wouldn’t bet on a short hitter to win this event so you shouldn’t either.

Five Key Stats for the Farmers Insurance Open

  • Driving Distance
  • SG: Off-the-Tee
  • Proximity from Rough
  • Scrambling Percentage
  • SG: Putting

Not only is the South Course a behemoth in length at over 7,700 yards, but the fairways are skinny and the rough is deep. At most courses, hitting at a little bit shorter off the tee will usually result in a wider part of the fairway which means a higher likelihood of keeping it in the short stuff. That’s not the case at Torrey Pines so short hitters have no advantage whatsoever. Longer hitters and shorter hitters alike will be hitting a fair amount of their second shots from the rough so taking a look at proximity from the rough will show us which golfers thrive when they miss the fairway.

Scrambling percentage is going to be key as long holes will also mean a lot of missed greens in regulation. Being able to get the ball up and down to save par will be momentum shifters throughout the weekend. Finally, we’d be ignoring half the game if we didn’t look at putting. It’s important to note that Torrey Pines has Poa Annua grass for their greens so golfers who grew up playing on the West Coast may have more familiarity putting on these surfaces.

Picks to win the Farmers Insurance Open

Rory McIlroy +750

Yes it’s a “square” pick and yes it’s a little bit tough to justify betting on a guy with the second shortest odds despite not winning an event since September 2019, but I think this is a perfect spot for McIlroy to get back in the winner’s circle. McIlroy has finished T3 and T5 here at Torrey Pines the past two seasons and it makes sense when you look at his style of play. He’s 2nd on the PGA Tour right now in the driving distance just slightly behind Bryson DeChambeau. He’s also 2nd in strokes gained off the tee and 47th in strokes gained putting.

The most promising sign for McIlroy is that he’s coming off a 3rd place finish at last week’s star-studded European Tour event which means he’s shaken off the holiday rust and is ready to compete.

Matthew Wolff +3200

If you’re looking for a golfer whose game fits the course but you want a little bit more bang for your buck, Matthew Wolff might be your guy. The 21-year old ranks 9th in driving distance and had a T21 finish here in 2020.

If you’re not brave enough to take him to win outright, you can back him to finish in the top 20 at +150 which has fantastic value.