This week, Torrey Pines hosts the Farmers Insurance Open, the first truly big event of the year on the PGA Tour. The field is strong, and the courses are difficult, especially in comparison to the venues for the first three events of 2022.
Both the South and North courses at Torrey Pines place a premium on ball-striking. The South is extremely demanding at 7,700 yards. Its unusual length, narrow fairways, and penal rough make driving distance immensely important. Everyone is going to miss fairways, but bombers will have a distinct advantage, as they will be able to reach most greens, even from the rough.
Another key skill at the Farmers Insurance Open will be a deft touch around the greens. The greens-in-regulation rate here is among the lowest on tour, so players are frequently asked to get up and down for par. Those who handle the thick green-side rough will have a huge leg up.
With that skill set in mind, here are some players who would make good one-and-done and DraftKings plays this week:
Tony Finau $9,100
Finau ranks in the top 25% of the field in driving distance, around the green, approach, birdies, mid-iron proximity, and long-iron proximity. Yes, his putter can be balky at times; he ranks 102nd overall on the greens. But on poa annua greens like the ones at Torrey Pines, he’s 57th in the field. That’s one reason why Finau has finished 24th or better in all seven of his appearances at the Farmers Insurance Open. Look for that streak to continue this week.
Luke List $7,600
List is the only player in the field at Torrey Pines who ranks in the top 25 in driving distance (ninth) and Strokes Gained: Around the Green (seventh). This skill combination has helped him make his past four cuts at the event, including two top-12 finishes. In late 2021, List found his game, ending the year with three top-11 finishes in his four starts. His solid form was on display in his T-22 finish at the American Express last week.
Joseph Bramlett $6,700
Bramlett, a California native, is the longest player on tour sans Bryson. He has made the cut in each of his past two appearances at the Farmers, and he finished 18th last year. He won the Korn Ferry Tour Championship in 2021 to get his card for this year, and he has been effective—20th at Sony Open and 33rd at the American Express—at courses that don’t suit him as well as Torrey will.