After a thrilling weekend in La Quinta seeing Si Woo Kim win his first PGA title in 4 years, the PGA tour heads down to San Diego to continue its California swing. This weekend, the 156-golfer field will compete for the Farmers Insurance Open trophy at the beautiful Torrey Pines Golf Course. Torrey Pines resort features two courses, the North and South course, the latter being host to the 2021 U.S Open. The North and South course are polar opposites even though they both play to a par 72, the North is only 7,300 yards in length while its counterpart is almost 7,800 yards. Golfers will play each course once the first two days and then finish out the weekend playing only the South course. The South course will play a lot easier than the U.S Open will in June but should still be a test seeing the winner shoot around low double digits to victory. Though the cut is an equal playing field as you only play each course once before Saturday, we are going to focus on the larger picture and base our picks solely on stats that suit the South course. Since the South course is lengthy and played on Poa Annua Greens compared to the North’s Bentgrass greens, we are going to focus on Off the Tee (specifically driving distance) and Approach shots gained.
Solid winner last week with a Top 10 pick but still negative overall. Anyway, let’s get back to the drawing board!
2021 Golf Schedule:
- 1) Sentry Tournament of Champions (+3.5U)
- 2) Sony Open (-8U)
- 3) American Express Open (-3.4U)
Tier 1 (The Bigger Named Value Plays):
- 1) Hideki Matsuyama 28/1 (1.5U to Win 42U)
Matsuyama has been an interesting golfer the past two seasons seeing himself be pretty inconsistent at times but still scoring very well. Though he finished 18th in the Fed Ex Cup standings last season with 14 Top 25 finishes, it almost felt like a what could have been season if he even putted half decent. Last season he ranked 170th in the tour in putting stats but still finished 17th in total shots gained and it has been the same story this season with a 210 putting ranking and a ranking of 47th in total shots gained. Matsuyama is in really solid form right now also seeing himself ranked 23rd in the Fed Ex cup rankings while making 7 of 8 cuts with a tie for 2nd and 5 top 25’s including two at both the majors (U.S Open and Masters) this season. For someone who has historically fared well at Torrey Pines and tends to turn it up on the more difficult courses, I really like the value here.
- 2) Scottie Scheffler 36/1 (1.5U to Win 54U)
This is more of a gut feeling play than a play backed up by stats. The 2020 PGA Tour Rookie of the year finished 5th in the Fed Ex Cup standings last season and really put the golf world on notice. Still yet to be a winner on the PGA tour, Scheffler is due for a victory and I feel it is coming sooner than later. Scheffler is in decent form right now making 6 of 8 cuts this season (narrowly missing the other two) with 3 top 20’s. The big Texan is known for his elite off the tee skills where he currently ranks 9th in shots gained this season and with the lengthiness of Torrey Pines, we are banking on his big-hitting to get him into the winner’s circle for the first time.
- 3) Brooks Koepka 38/1 (1.5U to Win 57U)
Getting Koepka at anything over 30/1 seems too good to be true. Even though his form is not quite back to normal yet, Koepka is finally fully healthy for the first time in what feels like almost two years. Koepka is only 3 for 5 on cuts made so far this season but mixed in two top 10’s at the Masters and the Houston Open to show signs of growth. Koepka’s ball striking is a little off to start his 2021 campaign, but he is still driving the ball like a maniac and finally found his 4-time winning major putting stroke back. I guarantee Koepka wins at some point this season, and Torrey Pines seems like an ideal course for him to do it.
Tier 2 (The up-and-coming Longshot):
- 1) Will Zalatoris 57/1 (1U to Win 57U)
The 24-year-old Wake Forest Alum has hit the ground running in his rookie campaign on the PGA Tour. Zalatoris is 5 for 6 on cuts made to start his rookie campaign with 3 top 10’s and a wildly impressive T6 at September’s U.S Open at Winged Foot. Zalatoris fits our mold perfectly this week as he is ranked 8th in Off the Tee and 5th in Approach shots gained on the entire PGA tour. It seems like sooner rather than later the younger generation is going to break through on the tour and Zalatoris is among the elite of that group. Love the value here for the up-and-coming California native.
PROP BET TIME:
Placing Finishes (Top 10)
- 1) Matthew Wolff Top 10 +470 (1.5U to Win 7.05U)
It seems like I am taking this kid every week at this point and he is yet to really put up a dud for me. The quirky big-hitting Wolff played pretty awful last week and still saw himself finish T40, which shows me even on an off week, he will still contend. Torrey Pines fits his game perfectly and if you watched him at the U.S Open back in September you could see this kid is made for long tough courses like this weekend’s mammoth. If he does not play well this weekend, I guarantee he lights it up here in June on his second try.
- 2) SungJae Im Top 10 +380 (1.5U to Win 5.7U)
- Like Wolff, I cannot get enough of this kid. Im is on fire this season making 10 of 11 cuts with 5 Top 25’s and an unreal T2 finish at this past November’s Masters. Often known as one of the most accurate drivers on the tour, his distance is up there also seeing himself rank #17 in Off the Tee shots gained while also 52nd in approach to green skills. Where the stats get misleading is with his putting. The stats do not show it but Im is in my opinion, one of the best putters on the tour right now. Heck, I’d go out on a limb and say he might even be one of the most complete players on the entire tour right now at the ripe age of 22. Love the value for him to be in contention come Sunday.