*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
The Farmers Insurance starts around 5pm on Wednesday so that might catch a few people out! I’ll start with Tony Finau as one of my two shorter-priced punts. I don’t think you need to be particularly creative with the Farmers Insurance at Torrey Pines. We know all about this course, it’s really long and hard and the same players crop up year in year out.
Finau has placed in four of the last six renewals and this is the first time he gets to play it having won a really good Tour event which he did last August. He looks to have a really obvious chance. I know he’s really, really popular this week but I can absolutely see why.
Marc Leishman won this in 2020, a brilliant final round. It was a world-class edition and he passed Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm in that final round. When he’s on form he’s certainly capable of winning a high-class event like this one.
He’s played really well this last three months. It took him a long time to find his game again after the interruptions of 2020 but he’s back now and the fact that he’s lost quite a bit of weight shows that he’s really dedicated to making the most of this last quarter of his career. It’s a great course for him.
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At a bigger price, with Paddy paying eight places, I’ll start with Matthew Wolff who’s got quite a lot of risk attached this week, primarily because this time last week, on his first round of the year, he shot 78 and looked all at sea.
He’s a very volatile player, no doubt about that. When he won his first PGA Tour event last summer he’d missed two cuts prior to that. He is very up and down, the upside is that he’s contended in two of his three appearances at Torrey Pines. He was right in the mix at last summer’s US Open here and what may people forget it he took a couple of months off before that.
The other outsider is Cameron Davis. He was the best player tee-to-green here last year, he had a really bad time with the putter. A year on, not only is he putting better but he’s a PGA Tour winner.
I think he’s a player we will see winning again on the PGA Tour. He certainly found winning pretty easy in the early stages of his career. Another big hitter, I think that’s the right sort of candidate for a run at the places here.
I really do like Bernd Wiesberger. I think he is still a little bit underestimated because he’s in his late 30s and is something of a late bloomer. He’s looking for his 9th European Tour winner now and he’s won a couple of Rolex Series events.
This is a really good course for him and he’s got three top 10 finishes here. He says it’s his favourite of the events in the Middle East and he’s got the absolute perfect game for it. You look down the roll of honour and it’s all brilliant ball strikers, that’s Bernd Wiesberger to a tee. I think he has a massive chance.
The other one I like at the top of the market, though you’ll still get a decent each-way price, is Dean Burmester. He’s a player who’s been on the ascent for the last year or so. He won in Tenerife last spring where he could put his big hitting to use.
He’s got a really good record here. He was 3rd in 2020, he’s never missed the cut in four visits and he returns now at the absolute top of his game. He’s just outside the top 50 in the world as well. That’s true for Wiesberger so if either were to win here all of a sudden that’s an invite to The Master. Lots to play for and Burmester’s never been in better form.
Two at a bigger price now with Paddy paying seven places. Thomas Detry is one I really like here. He was the half-way leader at this course last year before fading over the weekened.
His game is improving despite not having a Tour win and if you go back to last summer he was a playoff loser in a Rolex Series event when he was really unlucky. I think he’ll win at some stage and this is a really good course for him.
The other one I like is Romain Langasque. I think if you were to ask me for a player off the radar to follow all season it might be the Frenchman. He’s got bags of talent and is a brilliant ball striker.
His game has come back over the last six months and this is a good course for him. He’s got finishes of 20th and 17th in his first two goes here and he’s probably getting back towards that sort of form now.
This week’s golf tips
Farmers Insurance Open
Dubai Desert Classic
* Read more of Ben Coley’s top tips at SportingLife.com
* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
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