Pat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2022 Farmers Insurance Open. The guys give their fantasy golf picks, provide their one and done strategy for the event from Torrey Pines South.
2022 Farmers Insurance Open: Field
Field: 156 Players
Cut: Top 65 and Ties
Lineup Lock: Wednesday, January 26
Defending Champ: Patrick Reed
NOTE: Charley Hoffman has withdrawn
The field of 156 players will rotate between the North and South courses for the first two rounds before there is a cut down to the Top 65 and ties after 36 holes. The remaining players will finish the tournament at the South Course over the final two rounds. Normally, I’d say “Weekend,” but NOT THIS WEEK!!!!
Since the PGA actually thought this one through, they decided going head-to-head with the NFL Championship games probably would lead to only a handful of viewers. And those viewers were likely 90-year-olds who fell asleep and left the TV on after they fell asleep watching paid programming in the morning. Meaning, the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open STARTS WEDNESDAY this year.
Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Sam Burns, Sungjae Im, Daniel Berger, Scottie Scheffler, Hideki Matsuyama, Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka and defending champ Patrick Reed.
Stacked second tier featuring Marc Leishman, Corey Conners, Matthew Wolff, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Will Zalatoris, Billy Horschel, Max Homa, Cameron Davis, Matt Jones, Si WOOOOOO Kim, Mac Hughes and Cameron Champ along with the 2022 debut of Aaron Wise and the two Chileans: Joaquin Niemann and Mito Pereira.
Plus, there’s name value with former champs Jason Day, Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose, along with the firmly good Gary Woodland, Rickie Fowler and Francesco Molinari.
2022 Farmers Insurance Open: Key Stats
Strokes Gained: Approach
Driving Distance Gained
Strokes Gained: Around The Green
Par 4s Gained: 450-500 Yards
Mayo’s Key Stats powered by FantasyNational.com
2022 Farmers Insurance Open: Course(s)
Course: Torrey Pines South
Shot Tracker: Yes
Course: Torrey Pines North
Shot Tracker: No
2022 Farmers Insurance Open: Past Winners
- 2021: Patrick Reed -14
- 2020: Marc Leishman -15
- 2019: Justin Rose -21
- 2018: Jason Day -10
- 2017: Jon Rahm -13
- 2016: Brandt Snedeker -6
- 2015: Jason Day -9
- 2014: Scott Stallings -9
- 2013: Tiger Woods -14
2022 Farmers Insurance Open: Notes
Torrey Pines South was already the longest course in the regular PGA TOUR rotation. After the 2021 U.S. Open, it has retained some of the extra length. It is now a brutal 7,765 yards.
Ten of the past 16 winners at the Farmers have finished the season inside the top 30 in Driving Distance, and the ones who didn’t gained a ridiculous amount of strokes putting on the field — hello, Patrick Reed.
Three things to target from your picks: driving distance, iron play from 175-plus yards and around-the-green. While a short smacker like Brandt Snedeker has experienced a lot of success at Torrey Pines, most of the leaderboard is generally congested with bombers who don’t have the yips from just off the green.
In 2021, 18 of the 24 on the leaderboard gained against the field in driving distance. In 2020, 20 of the 23. In 2019, each of the top-seven finishes gained against the field.
Very rarely does Strokes Gained: Around The Green factor into the winning score. However, because of the tiny greens on the South Course, pairing an average or above short game with a big driver is the way to crack the Sunday leaderboard. Not the only way, but the path of least resistance. Obviously, fairways + distance off the tee will equal a slew of GIRs, which would be optimal, but that’s just simply unfeasible for three rounds on this course with the average scrambling percentage hovering around 52%.
If you feel the need to put shorter hitters in your lineups, make sure they gain strokes off the tee through their accuracy and know how to hit a long iron. There are six par 4s measuring over 450 yards and five of them are inside the six most difficult holes on Torrey Pines South and all played over par. Holes No. 12 and No. 15 are two of the 50 toughest holes on TOUR almost every year, majors included.
Since the field alternates between courses for the first two days, target bombers at the easier North Course for DraftKings Showdown purposes. If your golfers can start on Hole No. 1 instead of Hole No. 10, that’d be a big advantage, too, as there’s a stretch of easier holes from 9-12. There is one drawback, however: there’s no ShotLink at the North Course and minimal cameras. So trying to follow what is going on will be an exercise is futility.
With larger greens and shorter holes, GIR rate and scrambling percentage at the North Course are above TOUR average. Three of the par 5s on the North Course also generate more eagles than any par 5 on the South. And, it’s over 500 yards shorter.
Although Poa Annua putting surfaces tend to run slower on average, expect greens on the South Course to run faster because of the windy and dry conditions. After renovations in 2016, there’s actually a split in grass type between the putting surfaces at the courses when the North Course switched to bentgrass. Both courses average more three-putts than TOUR average.
The driving accuracy percentage of players who made the cut generally hovers around 50%. Both courses sport some of the most difficult fairways to hit every season. Between both courses, since 2012, Torrey Pines South and Firestone CC South were the only venues ranked inside the top 10 of lowest driving accuracy percentage each season. While no longer played on TOUR, a glance at historic performance from Firestone CC is encouraged to find some crossover hints. It’s worth noting Tiger has won eight times apiece at each of those courses.
Eleven of the past 13 winners have posted a top 10 at this event prior to winning. Jon Rahm won in his first start in 2017. Scott Stallings in 2014 was the other exception.
Seven of the eight par 3s between the courses are over 200 yards. Keep it consistent: long irons and short game if you want to tread water on these holes.
No champion had hoisted a novelty check after posting a score over par on the North Course since 1983. While Justin Rose became the first player in nine years to win this event starting the North Course in 2019, Marc Leishman and Patrick Reed have made it three in a row starting at the North Course, so don’t act like this trend has any predictive value.
Jon Rahm, Tony Finau, Patrick Reed, Marc Leishman and Ryan Palmer have the most Strokes Gained: Total over the past five years at the Farmers Insurance Open. Of note, Finau, Rahm and Palmer duelled down the stretch at The Memorial in 2020 in the Uber-tough conditions.
Over the last five years, in a minimum of three starts, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Ryan Palmer, Jon Rahm, Marc Leishman, Brandt Snedeker, Sungjae Im, Cameron Davis, Bill Haas, Talor Gooch, Hideki Matsuyama, John HUH??????, Nick Taylor and Keegan Bradley have made the cut in each appearance.
In a minimum of seven weighted rounds at the South Course since 2018, only five players are averaging at least one stroke gained putting per round: Marc Leishman, Rory Sabbatini, Sepp Straka, Patrick Reed and Doug Ghim.
— Stats powered by FantasyNational.com
2022 Farmers Insurance Open Picks
Will Zalatoris ($9,200)
After notching a T7 finish a year ago at Torrey Pines, Zalatoris has an opportunity to make his first PGA victory a big one, ala Jon Rahm five years ago at this same event. Fresh off a T7 in his season debut at the AMEX, where he was top five in ball striking and tee-to-green at the South Course, he can now put his prolific tough-course skill to good use. As mentioned, Zalatoris already has a top 10 at this event, to go along with top-10 results at The Masters, PGA Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational and a pair at the U.S. Open. All on the longer end of PGA courses.
Luke List ($7,600)
He’s kind of like Zalatoris, except there’s no chance he putts well. It just seems like it would have happened by now, you know? Still, at courses that don’t turn into birdie fests, now that List has regained his elite around the green work, he just needs to make a lot of three- to five-footers during the week. Yes, that’s still a big ask for him, however, both these courses have higher than normal three-putt percentages, so maybe that will drop the field back to his level. Of all players in the Farmers field, he’s top 10 in SG: Off The Tee, Driving Distance, and SG: Around the Green over the past 50 rounds while also sitting top 20 in approach. He’s made the cut in this event the past four years and picked up his first top-10 result in 2021.
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Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2020 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award, and is a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2022 (Best Podcast, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 24 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are second-most all-time.
Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting), genre (Humor), and game formats (Daily Fantasy and Traditions Season Long). Beyond sports, Mayo covers everything from entertainment to pop culture to politics. If you have a fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at ThePatMayoExperience@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.
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