This week’s Farmers Insurance Open is notable for the first appearance in 2020 from Tiger Woods. A year ago, we were suggesting these occasional returns were little more than a media sideshow but Tiger showed that he is a live contender and we should take him seriously.
Of course, there is plenty of competition heading to Torrey Pines and we will aim to pick out a winner. Last week at The American Express, USAbetting claimed a nice top 10 finish profit as Scottie Scheffler claimed a solo 3rd, so let’s see if we can build on that return.
There is a strong US contingent in California but two Europeans head the leaderboard in terms of the Farmers Insurance Open outright winner betting market. Rory McIlroy (+600, that is 6/1, with Bovada U.S. sportsbook) is in front with all outlets while Jon Rahm (+800) is close behind. Of those two, Rahm is the former champion having claimed the Farmers Insurance Open in 2017 while both men tied for fifth here 12 months ago.
Rahm and McIlroy enjoyed productive seasons last time out and are worthy favorites with the sports betting sites as we head into Thursday.
We have a gap behind the top two ahead of third favorite Tiger Woods (+1100 or 11/1) who, in turn, is several points clear of the defending champion Justin Rose (18/1). With two tournament wins in 2019, including the Masters, this preview is obviously taking the Tiger seriously this time.
It may also be worth remembering that Woods has won the Farmers Insurance Open on seven occasions. He jointly holds two tournament records for lowest aggregate and lowest score to par – although those two marks were set back in 1999.
As for Justin Rose, last season didn’t quite produce the form that saw him claim the FedEx Cup a year previously but that victory in 2019 completed a run of three top 10 finishes so the Englishman clearly likes it here.
Other names to consider in a high-quality field of players include Xander Schauffele (16/1), Hideki Matsuyama (20/1), Tony Finau (25/1), Rickie Fowler (20/1) and Gary Woodland (25/1). Fowler could be one to watch after blowing a good position on Sunday and, despite that final-day disappointment, he has started 2020 positively.
All of those names will pose a threat but we would take a close look at Tony Finau. He has a 5-5 record at the Farmers, has finished no worse than 24th here, and he equaled his career best 62 at the American Express last week.
Farmers Open Insurance Outsiders
There is plenty of threat and the head of the betting odds and the quality continues as we move into the outside bunch. Last week’s winning top 10 pick, Scottie Scheffler is in the mix and he is joined at the same 40/1 price by two-time Farmers Champion Jason Day. Australia’s Day is by no means the force that he was when topping the world rankings but victories in 2015 and 2018 suggest he could be in contention.
Brandt Snedeker (50/1) is another double champion with his most recent win coming in 2016. Sneds has also finished as runner-up here twice and is another man to come under our radar. Look out too for Jordan Spieth, Ryan Palmer, Joaquin Niemann, Matthew Wolf and Billy Horschel. The biggest names – Koepka, Thomas, Johnson – may be absent but this is a top class field and picking some winners will require some tough calls.
Our Farmers Open Insurance Preview’s Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Advice
This event was first held in 1952 and that inaugural edition was claimed by Ted Kroll. The tournament was incepted as the San Diego Open and it has experienced numerous name changes before the Farmers Insurance Open came along in 2010. In 1968 it was switched to its current venue at Torrey Pines with the South Course and the North Course sharing hosting duties.
Both courses are Par 72s but the South is the longest and by far the toughest with average scores barely scraping under that 72 mark. Stats prove that these are the hardest fairways to find on Tour so, while distance can be an advantage, players will be sunk if they don’t produce that accuracy. GIR has also been a key indicator on both courses over the years.
Tiger’s seven wins make him the most successful player in this tournament by some margin but there have been other multiple winners this century. This time, however, this preview is looking for a first-time champion and the name we keep coming back to is Gary Woodland to head our Farmers Open Insurance predictions.
USAbetting has tipped him before and he hasn’t quite got us over the line but the Farmers is a fiendish test and not only does Woodland have the game, he has the stamina and resilience to succeed. Back Gary for the win and place, plus add in these top 10 suggestions ahead of a competitive four days in California:
- Gary Woodland to win @ best odds of +2500 (25/1) with Bovada, 5Dimes or BetOnline.
- Woodland for a top 5 finish @ biggest +550 (11/2) with Intertops or BetOnline.
- Tony Finau (best +325 BetOnline), Scottie Scheffler (+350 Intertops, BetOnline) and Ryan Palmer (+650 BetOnline) for top 10 finishes.
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.