For those who missed it, please check out the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open Preview and Betting Strategies for information about what types of golfers to target this week for your props and futures bets.
With that in mind, here’s who I like this week at Torrey Pines (with odds courtesy of MyBookie.ag):
Pre-Tournament Futures (with Top 10 Prop Odds)
Xander Schauffele – 16/1 (+135): I’m not feeling a whole lot of chatter about Xander this week. It might be because he doesn’t have that great of a track record at Torrey Pines as he’s only gained about half a stroke on the field in six rounds of competition. It’s possible he lets the pressure playing in front of his home crowd get to him but he has the complete skill set needed to win at Torrey Pines. Xander is playing as efficiently tee-to-green as anyone right now and has more than enough length off the tee to handle the monstrous yardage of Torrey Pines. He also has risen to the occasion on hard and demanding golf courses in his career. Xander should have at least a win on his resume this season, and maybe this is the week he finally gets it done.
Tony Finau: 25/1 (+240): Finau has the tools tee-to-green to shake the stigma of a one-time PGA Tour winner of the lowly Puerto Rico Open. He has the length with both his driver and irons to have a significant edge on the field, and has shown tremendous consistency with his ball striking strokes gained metrics for the better part of two years. But to finally get off the schneid he’ll have to putt better, which he struggled once again with last week in Palm Desert. Finau has now lost strokes to the field on the greens in nine of his last 10 tournaments, but most of those have come on bermuda and bentgrass surfaces. Some of his better putting performances last year came on poa, and if he can channel those good vibes it might all finally come together for him at Torrey Pines
Gary Woodland: 25/1 (+250): Woodland has the same qualities as Finau above, only he’s been a much better putter over the last year. He also has excelled in his career on long poa golf courses, including Torrey Pines where he’s gained just under a stroke per round on the field in 28 career rounds. Length and efficiency tee-to-green is the name of the game this week at Torrey Pines, and at 25/1 he fits the mold beautifully of a golfer who likely will be holding the trophy on Sunday.
Marc Leishman: 50/1 (+450): A lot of people are gravitating towards the chalkier Australian this week, but I like the more unheralded one. Backing Leishman definitely can go wrong, as when he doesn’t have it then he really doesn’t have it. But Leishman’s ball striking tee-to-green was great in the fall and in his last start at the Sony Open. Length is one of the most important attributes this week, and while he’s not the longest guy out there he still sends it just under 300 yards per drive. That’s enough to get the job done at Torrey Pines. Given his high variance a pre-tournament futures bet is probably the only place I’d use him this week, but I love the upside and the 50/1 price he gets it done at Torrey Pines.
Others to Consider (With Top 20 Prop Odds)
- Keegan Bradley: 80/1 (+250): In 23 career rounds Keegan’s gained 1.35 strokes on the field at Torrey Pines, and he possesses adequate enough length to have an edge on the field. Like Finau, his putter will have to show up if he wants to win, but the price at 80/1 is worth it with his ability tee-to-green.
- Nick Watney: 150/1 (+600): Watney’s enjoyed a solid 2019-2020 season, has good length in his game and has gained over a stroke per round on the field at Torrey Pines in 37 career rounds. He’s worthy of a flyer at 150/1 for a surprise win.
- Cameron Davis: 200/1 (+600): Davis may finally be living up to his potential. He won the Australian Open at the age of 22 and was one of more promising Korn Ferry Tour graduates heading into 2019. He flopped spectacularly, but he’s been very good his last two tournaments with good ball-striking and putting numbers. If he’s finally living up to the hype, a breakout could soon.
Other Props and Matchups
Jon Rahm Top 10 (-140): I never like laying juice on a Top 10 or 20 prop given the high variance of golf. But since the U.S. Open last year if you had laid a unit at -140 on Jon Rahm finishing in the top 10 in every worldwide start he’s made you’d be up just under seven units. He’s a former winner at Torrey Pines and plays well on poa annua golf courses, so even with the heavy juice he should yield returns on this Top 10 prop.
Jason Day Top 10 (+400) & Top 20 (+175): Jason Day is one of my least favorite golfers to back because he’s been so bad with his irons for a solid three years now. But he’s so damn good on poa annua golf courses, including Torrey Pines where he’s won twice and has gained 1.66 strokes per round on the field in his career there. He didn’t show much in the fall but no one truly knows if what we saw there is what he’s bringing to the golf course this week. Given his history, 4/1 on a Top 10 finish and +175 to finish in the Top 20 are good bets.
Keegan Bradley over Phil Mickelson (-125): For reasons given above, Bradley is someone I like this week. As for Phil, he was someone I thought would show well at Palm Desert and, um, I was very wrong. It’s never a good idea to make sweeping opinions about a golfer after only one tournament, but he might be done. PGA West and La Quinta are some of the easiest golf courses he can play, and he did absolutely nothing on all three of them. There’s not a lot to be encouraged about with him other than he hits the ball really, really far now. That’s a useful skill for this week, but all his work adding length has eroded what made him Phil Mickelson – elite iron play, hot putting and his ability to be a magician around the greens. Those are all a shell of what it used to be. He also is on record that he dislikes Torrey Pines and lately has shown poorly anywhere he goes with penal rough. This one might be decided by Friday afternoon with a missed cut by Phil.
Cameron Smith +1.5 Strokes over Scottie Scheffler (-115): Don’t get me wrong – I love me some Scottie Scheffler. He has all the tools needed to play well at Torrey Pines. But he’s still a very young player finding his way on the PGA Tour and some of the mistakes he made at PGA West will be significantly more punished at Torrey Pines. Call it a hunch he struggles a bit on a much tougher and demanding golf course, even if it’s conducive to scoring this week. I’ll take Cam Smith, his improved and more consistent ball striking and 1.5 strokes over Scheffler.
Ryan Palmer -115 over Billy Horschel: Ever since switching to PXG, Horschel is a shell of himself in the ball striking department, especially with his irons. If anything last week’s putting contest at PGA West should have given him a great opportunity to shine but he was utterly irrelevant all weekend. While he does own a pair of Top 10’s in his career at Torrey Pines, his form and lack of distance doesn’t suggest for a bounce back this week. I’ll take Palmer head to head over him, who comes in playing well and has the skill set needed to have a solid finish at Torrey Pines.