The PGA TOUR remains in California this week, San Diego to be specific, for the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open. Just like last week at the American Express, the Farmers is a PGA TOUR event that includes two different courses. Each golfer will play a round at the North (par 72, 7,258 yards) and South (par 72, 7,765 yards) courses of Torrey Pines and then the group of players that proceeds through the top 65 and ties cut line after the first 36 holes will close out the event with the final two rounds at the South Course. The North Course is an easy test by the PGA TOUR standards and shooting a low number for your round at the track is essential.
As for the South Course, the daunting par 72 is far more challenging than its sibling. In fact, this is the longest course on the calendar this season and it will also host the 2021 U.S. Open. As you probably could have guessed, having extra distance off the tee is optimal at the South Course. Two of the past three champs have ranked inside the top 11 in driving distance during their wins. Now, just to be clear, this doesn’t mean we should only be rostering bombers at Torrey Pines, but if juggling between two golfers this week, I would give an edge to the player who is longer off the tee. Furthermore, you need to be a strong iron player to climb the leaderboard in San Diego. Since 2016, three of the five players to secure the top prize at Torrey Pines have ranked T5 or better in SG APP.
As a par 72, there are four par 5s at the South Course and they rank as the four easiest holes on the scorecard, putting an emphasis on par five play this week. Also, you need to be efficient on the par fours, with four of the past five Farmers champs ranking inside the top six in SG on the par 4s. Specifically, you need to be able to handle par fours that fall between 450-500 yards in length. Four of the 10 par 4s at the South Course land in this range and in his win here a year ago, Marc Leishman (-15) led his field in strokes gained on these particular holes.
The North Course is home to bentgrass greens, but the South Course sports POA surfaces, making the latter grass type the one we should be focusing on for putting splits. There are 154 players in attendance in San Diego this week and as always, finding some cheap players who will be playing on the weekend to round out your DFS lineup is crucial to success. So, below I give you four of my preferred options who cost less than $7,500 on DraftKings for the Farmers Insurance Open.
John Huh, $7,000
Huh was an excellent choice last week, posting a T21 with only a 7.4% ownership in the $600K approach shot GPP on DraftKings. This marked his fifth-straight made cut and the 30-year-old has carded four top 25s during this run. Additionally, Huh has been competing on the weekend in 10 of his past 11 PGA TOUR events and his ball-striking has been elite as of late. He finished the week seventh in SGT2G at The American Express and ranks ninth in the stat when we analyze all of these golfer’s past 12 rounds.
Huh went to college at California State University and he currently calls Los Angeles his home. As we just saw last week, he loves teeing it up in his home state and Huh’s course resume at Torrey Pines is very impressive. In nine career appearances at the Farmers, he has made eight cuts and finished inside the top eight twice. As of Monday night, Huh holds +300 odds on the DraftKings Sportsbook to supply a top 30 this weekend. These are outstanding odds for a player this cheap and to put this into perspective, Cameron Champ possesses the same odds for a top 30 but costs $900 more for DFS purposes.
Russell Knox, $7,000
Knox’s irons were scorching hot last week at the American Express. At the conclusion of the tournament, he ranked third in GIR and T11 in SG APP. The 35-year-old also positively gained strokes off the tee and this T16 is his fourth finish of T23 or better over his past six events.
If Knox can in any way replicate his ball-striking performance from La Quinta last week, the Scottish golfer not only should make the cut, but he has top-30 upside at the Farmers. This will be the seventh time Knox has played at Torrey Pines and he has a 4/6 record in San Diego, including three top 30s.
Matt Jones, $7,000
Jones smashes it off the tee (42nd in driving distance this season) and his long ball has brought him success at Torrey Pines. The 20-year veteran has made eight of 10 career cuts at the Farmers with four finishes inside the top 35, most notably a fifth in 2009. Jones’ current form is also something to hang your hat on with him making it to the weekend in six consecutive tournaments. In his most recent two, the 40-year-old recorded a T11 at the Sony Open and then a T21 at the American Express.
Over this time, Jones ranks 11th in SG on P4s, fourth in SG on P4s from 450-500 yards, third in SGP, third in DKFP and first in bogeys avoided. Plus, both the Sony Open and American Express were held on par 72s and he has made it through the cut in four of his past five attempts on this course type. At only $7,000, Jones is a strong value play that shouldn’t carry much ownership in GPPs.
Cameron Tringale, $7,000
Tringale made his fifth cut in his past six starts last week at the American Express (T56), but his sloppy showing on the Bermuda greens at the West Stadium Course held him back from making any serious run. He lost 4.6 strokes with his flat stick, but will thankfully now be on POA at the South Course of Torrey Pines. The 33-year-old’s career putting splits heavily favor POA over any other surface, while Bermuda is easily his worst.
In his past 10 starts at courses that feature POA greens, Tringale has made eight cuts and finished top 30 or better four times. He carries a 8/11 record here in San Diego and Tringale can’t be slept on this week.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.