Farmers Insurance Open preview and betting tips 2023
Farmers Insurance Open Golf Tips
Will Zalatoris 18/1 - 8 places 2.5pts ew
Sungjae Im 20/1 - 8 places 2pts ew
Sahith Theegala 50/1 - 8 places 1pt ew
The second tournament of the California swing sees the players tee it up at Torrey Pines in the Farmers Insurance Open, always an event to look forward to and an event that usually attracts a good field. That’s exactly what we have this week with the in-form Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa and last year’s playoff loser Will Zalatoris all teeing it up. As usual, this event is played between Torrey Pines’ North and South courses for the first two rounds. The final two rounds are played on the South Course. The par-72 South Course is one of the longest courses on Tour, measured at 7,765 yards. Whereas the par-72 North Course is shorter, measured at 7,258 yards. For the second consecutive year, this tournament will be played from Wednesday - Saturday to avoid a clash with the NFL on the TV schedule. It is the only Tour event all season with a Saturday finish. As briefly touched on above, Zalatoris was an unlucky playoff loser in last year’s renewal where Luke List eventually came out on top to land his first ever PGA Tour win.
Taking a look at the strokes gained statistics from the last three events of the Farmers, it’s a typical testing PGA Tour course where you need your tee-to-green game to be on point throughout every inch of the tournament. The last three winners have all ranked inside the top 16 for SG: T2G and they have also ranked in the top 10 for SG: Putting. Last year’s top two both hit over 75% greens in regulation whereas it’s interesting to know that Patrick Reed when winning in 2021 only hit 55% but had an unbelievably good short game all week round. A key fact to know this week is that 9 of the last 11 winners of this event had posted a top-10 finish at Torrey Pines prior to their win.
Will Zalatoris 18/1
First player on my list this week is last year’s playoff loser Will Zalatoris and I think he can go one better this year by winning the event. I think we’re going to see a big year from Will after landing his first PGA Tour win in the FedEx St Jude Championship in August last year. He seems to have wiped away any injury doubts that were surrounding him going into 2023 after finishing T11 at the Sentry TOC and an average T36 at the American Express last week but at a low-scoring event that doesn’t really suit his strengths. Amongst players in this field over the last 50 rounds, Will ranks 3rd T2G and 6th on SG: Approach, key stats for the test we have this week. Not only did Zalatoris finish 2nd last year when losing in a playoff to Luke List but he also finished 7th in 2021, he clearly enjoys the test at Torrey Pines and for me he’s the best bet of the week.
Sungjae Im 20/1
Next up in my portfolio is world number 19 Sungjae Im and I think he can go well at an event he has bettered his previous finish year after year. Course form figures read 52-36-32-6. When finishing 6th in last year’s renewal, he ranked inside the top-10 for four of the five keystrokes gained statistics. Only his approach let him down, ranking 53rd on this stat, which is very unusual for this world-class ball striker. Over the last few years, Sungjae has emerged as one of the most consistent players on Tour, this can be backed up by the fact that over his last 12 starts, he has finished inside the top-10 five times and three runner-up finishes. It seems inevitable that a third PGA Tour win is just around the corner for Sungjae and it could well be this week.
Sahith Theegala 50/1
Final player on my list this week is one of the best maidens on Tour and one player who in my opinion, once he lands his first win the floodgates will open. World number 41 and 25-year-old Sahith Theegala is a must-bet this week for me. Theegala was 25th on debut round Torrey Pines last year when ranking 7th on approach, he’s a different player now and I’d expect him to improve that finish at an event that definitely suits him. It’s also worth noting that Theegala has more course experience than most people think, he won the Junior World Championship here three times and was inside the top-3 on three separate occasions. I definitely prefer backing him in the tougher T2G tests like we have this week, backed up by the fact he finished top-10 at the Valspar and the Memorial in 2022. He could’ve won two events last year, losing out to Xander Schauffele in the Travelers and Adam Svensson in the RSM Classic. I think he’s the sort of player to learn from those defeats and I think we’re going to see a breakthrough year from him.