The Confidence Factor: Horses for Courses FIO

My picks will be added later today but for those of you with deadlines, here you go!

 

PICKS ARE LIVE AS OF 2PM ET

Farmers Insurance Open

Torrey Pines North and South (host) Courses

La Jolla, California

 

South Course Cheat Sheet

Yards (per official scorecard): 7,698
Par: 72 (36-36)
Greens: Poa annua; 5,850 square feet on average.
Stimpmeter: 12′
Rough: Rye and Kikuyugrass at 3″
Architect(s): William P Bell (1957); Rees Jones (2001).
Purse: $7.1 million; $1.278 million, 500 FedExCup points (winner).
Defending Champion: Jason Day (-10), 278.
Notes: 156 players; Top 70 and ties will play the South Course in the final two rounds.
Notes II: Each player will play one round on the North Course before the cut is determined.

 

North Course Cheat Sheet

Yards (per official scorecard): 7,258
Par: 72 (36-36)
Greens: 007 Bentgrass; 6,000 square feet on average.
Stimpmeter: Up to 12′
Rough: Rye and Kikuyugrass at 3″
Architect(s): William P Bell (1957); Henry and David Rainville (1975); Tom Weiskopf (2016).
Purse: $7.1 million; $1.278 million, 500 FedExCup points (winner).
Notes: New track = firm, bouncy and still difficult to hit fairways.
Notes II: Expansion of the greens added new pin placements and increased scoring.
Ranking: 28th-most difficult of 51 used in 2018. South Course was eighth-most difficult last season.

 

History Lessons

Previous Winners (since 2012):

Year Winner Score Comment
2018 Jason Day -10 Defeated Alex Noren and Ryan Palmer in a playoff that stretched into Monday.
2017 Jon Rahm -13 First TOUR win in his first appearance.
2016 Brandt Snedeker -6 Severe weather ripped the course apart and delayed the finish until Monday.
2015 Jason Day -9 Won a four-man playoff.
2014 Scott Stallings -9 Gary Woodland led after 54 but Stallings made up four shots to win.
2013 Tiger Woods -14 Led by four after 54, won for the seventh time.
2012 Brandt Snedeker -16 Kyle Stanley led by five after 54 but lost in a playoff.

 

Recent History Lessons

2018-19 Winners

Event Winner
Safeway Open Kevin Tway**
CIMB Classic Marc Leishman
CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES Brooks Koepka
Sanderson Farms Championship Cameron Champ**
WGC-HSBC Champions Xander Schauffele
Shriners Hospitals for Children Bryson DeChambeau
Mayakoba Golf Classic Matt Kuchar
The RSM Classic Charles Howell III
Hero World Challenge* Jon Rahm
Sentry TOC Xander Schauffele (2)
Sony Open in Hawaii Matt Kuchar (2)
60th Desert Classic Adam Long**

(* unofficial event; **First-time winner)

Facts and Figures:

The South Course is used for three of the four rounds so weekend course history is real and spectacular.

Tournament Record: 266 (-22); George Burns (1987), Tiger Woods (1999).
Course Records: South – 62; Tiger Woods (1999).

North – 64; Jason Day (post-renovation) last year.

Recent Defending Champion(s): Tiger Woods won four straight from 2005-2008.
Multiple Winners (entered) Woods, Day and Snedeker.
First TOUR Win (last): Jay Don Blake (1991) and Jon Rahm (2017).
First-time (event): Arnold Palmer (1957) and Jon Rahm (2017).
Low Round 2018: 64; Jason Day (North) Round 2.
Odd Fact: Last eight winners have opened on the South Course.
Odd Fact II: Last five winners opened 72 or worse.
Odd Fact III: Only four internationals have won but two have won three of the last four (Day twice, Rahm).

 

The Confidence Factor was the weekly column I wrote for PGATOUR.COM. It has evolved into Horses for Courses. I’ve included the link here for you. It can also be found in The Confidence Factor section at my website. For now. Until I make a new category. Relax.

Inside the ropes

A big-boy field arrives in La Jolla to unofficially officially kick of the 2019 season. World No. 1. Tiger. Rory. Rahm. Day. The list goes on and on as we welcome the return of PAR as a decent score.

The South Course is an absolute beast and will add plenty of squares and others to the scorecards this week. Taming this track will take a big stick and nerves to putt bumpy Poa annua late in the afternoon during winning time.

The North Course renovation has proven useful. Even though it plays “easier” than the South Course, it is no longer the pushover it once was. Easy Par-5 holes are counterbalanced by very difficult Par-3 targets (READ: LONG) and pin placements that make pre-2017 yardage books insignificant.

The South Course will be updated after the conclusion of this year’s event. Read all about it:

Trend or Not a Trend?

Only six players in the last two years have posted a score of double-digits under-par. The previous three events did not and that was with the old, “easier” in play. Bring your lunch this week.

Here’s what the last four winners have done:

STAT Jason Day Jon Rahm Brandt Snedeker Jason Day
Year 2018 2017 2016 2015
Driving Accuracy T26 T19 T57 T49
Greens in Regulation T11 T12 T14 T8
Putts per GIR 4th T10 4 33
Putting: Birdie-or-Better % T1 45 30 T37
Scrambling T17 14 5 8
Bogey Avoidance T9 T1 1 7
Par-3 Scoring T40 T27 T2 T31
Par-4 Scoring T1 T6 5 1
Par-5 Scoring T10 T2 T40 T31

Course Horses

CONFIDENCE MEN
Selected golfers with multiple cuts made sorted by rank on the tournament’s money list.
Rank Player Cuts Made/Starts Top 10s Best Finish
1 Tiger Woods 13/17 12 7 wins
2 Brandt Snedeker 10/12 7 Win (2012, 2016)
4 Jason Day 6/9 4 Win (2010, 2015)
5 Charles Howell III 16/16 8 2nd three times

Course History Lessons
 
Player Cuts Made/Starts Top 10s Last Best (Other)
Alex Noren 1/1 1 P2 (2018) P2 (2018)
Ryan Palmer 3/5 1 P2 (2018) 1st app since ’10
J.B. Holmes 10/13 3 4 (2018) T2 (2015)
Keegan Bradley 6/8 2 5 (2018) T4 (2017)
Tony Finau 4/4 2 T6, T4 (18-17) T24 or better all 4
Justin Rose 6/9 2 T8, T4 (18-17) 2 best with New North
Harris English 6/6 2 T8 (2018) T2 (2015)
Marc Leishman 8/10 4 T8 (2018) T2 (2010, 2014)
Jon Rahm 2/2 1 Win (2017) T29 (2018)
C.T. Pan 2/2 1 T2 (2017) T35 (2018)
Pat Perez 10/16 3 T4 (2017) T2 (2014)
Patrick Rodgers 1/3 1 T4 (2017) MC, MC
Robert Streb 4/5 1 T9 (2017) T19 or better 3 of last 4
Brian Harman 4/6 1 T9 (2017) T32
J.J. Spaun 2/2 1 T9 (2017) T23 last year
Ollie Schniederjans 2/3 1 T9 (2017) MC last year; T49 ’16
Kevin Streelman 4/8 1 3 (2016) T29 twice
Jimmy Walker 6/11 4 T4 (2016) T4 (2013)
Jonas Blixt 5/7 1 T6 (2016) 4 of 5 T34 or better
Billy Horschel 5/8 1 T8 (2016) only other top 25 is T23
Martin Laird 7/10 2 T8 (2016) T7 (2015)
John Huh 6/7 2 T8 (2016) T6 (2012)
Scott Stallings 3/7 2 T2 (2015) Win (2014)
Alex Prugh 3/4 2 T5 (2015) T5 (2010)
Nick Watney 10/14 6 T7 (2015) Win (2009)
Charley Hoffman 12/21 2 T7 (2014) T7 (2009); Hometown
Gary Woodland 9/9 1 T10 (2014) 5 of last 6 T27 >
Russell Knox 2/4 1 T10 (2014) T29 (2018)
Before 2014  
Josh Teater 4/5 1 T2 (2013) First time since 2014
Rickie Fowler 5/9 2 T6 (2013) T5 (2010); 4 of last 5 MC
Bill Haas 11/13 3 T9 (2013) T4 (2014)
Kyle Stanley 6/8 1 2 (2012) Brutal Loss
Cameron Tringale 7/9 1 T4 (2012) Married last weekend
D.A. Points 6/11 3 T8 (2012) T9 (2010), 5 (2011)
Jhonattan Vegas 6/8 1 T3 (2011) 4 of 6 makes T28 <
Ben Crane 8/13 2 Win (2010) T7 (2009)
2018 Finish 2017 Finish
New North Course debut in 2017
01 Jason Day MC
P2 Alex Noren last year first appearance
P2 Ryan Palmer first appearance since ’10
04 JB Holmes T33
05 Keegan Bradley       T4
T6 Tony Finau       T4
T6 Charles Howell III       T2
T8 Harris English       T14
T8 Marc Leishman       T20
T8 Justin Rose       T4
T12 Emiliano Grillo T33
T12 Brandon Harkins first appearance
T12 Tom Hoge DNS (MC 2016, 2015)
T12 Hideki Matsuyama T33
T12 Gary Woodland       T20
T20 Abraham Ancer DNS (MC 2016)
T20 Rory Sabbatini       T14
T20 Cameron Smith T33
T23 Chesson Hadley DNS
T23 Michael Kim bad final rounds 16, ’18 both windy T54
T23 Patrick Reed DNS
T23 JJ Spaun       T9
T23 Tiger Woods MC
2018 Finish 2017 Finish
New North Course debut in 2017
T29 Russell Knox first appearance since ’15
T29 Jon Rahm       WIN
T29 Brendan Steele T20
T29 Kevin Streelman T67
T35 Brice Garnett DNS
T35 Cody Gribble first appearance
T35 Charley Hoffman T54
T35 Beau Hossler T49
T35 Si Woo Kim WD
T35 Chris Kirk DNS
T35 CT Pan One bad round of eight total T2
T35 Kevin Tway       T41
T45 James Hahn MC
T45 John Huh 76
T45 Brandt Snedeker       T9
T51 Patrick Cantlay DNS
T51 Talor Gooch first appearance
T54 Kyle Stanley T14
T54 Bill Haas DNS
T54 Billy Horschel       T64
T58 Bud Cauley MC
T58 Cameron Davis first appearance
T58 Danny Lee MC
T58 Cameron Tringale T73
T58 Nick Watney MC
T63 Keith Mitchell first appearance
T63 Jimmy Walker       MC
66 Robert Streb       T9
T67 Ben Silverman first appearance
T69 Sung Kang MC
T69 Hunter Mahan T67
T69 Sean O’Hair DNS
T73 JT Poston MC
T75 Grayson Murray MC
T75 Nick Taylor T54
         
MC 2018 2017 RESULT
   
Alex Cejka MC
Rickie Fowler MISSED LAST 3 MC
Whee Kim MC
Peter Malnati MC
Rod Pampling MC
Seamus Power MC
Xander Schauffele 0-3 CAREER     MC
Ollie Schniederjans T9
Shawn Stefani 0-4 CAREER DNS
Jhonattan Vegas T28
Richy Werenski T20
Aaron Wise T71
MC 2018 2017 RESULT
   
Bronson Burgoon DNS
Stewart Cink       T20
Mackenzie Hughes T54
Jamie Lovemark MC
Jonas Blixt T20
Patrick Rodgers T4
Scott Stallings       MC
Martin Laird T74
Michael Thompson T14
Harold Varner III MC
Brian Harman T9
Kelly Kraft T28

Chalk

Shouldn’t need much explanation for these fellas!

Justin Rose: The No. 1 player in the world had a week to fine-tune his new weaponry last week in the desert. This week he should start getting through the gears.

Tiger Woods: Aaaaaaaah, normalcy! The annual start to his season will have him paired with Finau and Schauffele at his spiritual home.

Marc Leishman: He’s done everything but win in his first two events of 2019 and loves this track.

Jon Rahm: Hit it great last week and six of his eight rounds here. With the absence of weather this week, I’d expect another week like 2017.

Patrick Cantlay: He hasn’t played enough anywhere to be put off by past performance. The current form and familiarity with the area is all I need.

Jason Day: Ben Everill at PGATOUR.COM points out he’s put new irons in his bag. Good. Just don’t touch the putter or the wedges!!

Tony Finau: The ONLY reason I’d leapfrog him this week is his playing partner the first two rounds. The good news is this is a place where you can make up ground quickly with a solid weekend.

Rory McIlroy: Stripe show travels and the less putts required to make, the better.

Brandt Snedeker: Coastal golf is where he does his most damage and two of his nine wins are at Torrey South.

Gary Woodland: A bit snake-bit around here but his skill set matches nicely. I’ve tried to make him my OAD every week for a reason!

Alex Noren: First-timer last year led the field in GIR before falling to Day in the playoff. He’ll gladly glide under the radar as he usually does.

Charles Howell III: The question with CH3 is when to get OFF the bus. Not this week as he’s 16-for-16 with eight top-10 paydays.

Keegan Bradley: Of his last eight rounds seven are in the red so it’s not a surprised he’s cashed in the top five each time. The more demanding tee-to-green the better.

Patrick Reed: Nice bounce-back performance in Hawaii with a tougher track to navigate. The American version of Jason Day for my money.

Xander Schauffele: COURSE HISTORIANS LOOK AWAY! I’m leaning on all of his class but he did get a tad unlucky with the Woods draw. Not many enjoy their time with the circus that surrounds. Maybe that’s EXACTLY what he needs to break is hoo-doo here. CHOO-CHOO! ALL ABOARD!

Supporting Actors

J.B. Holmes: Begins his season here and has hit the top 10 in three of his last four. Bomb and gouge forever!

Daniel Berger: When healthy, and I believe he is, he should be in the group above. His first test with legit rough will provide another clue for gamers moving forward.

Emiliano Grillo: MC~T33~T12 last three and T12 last year shows he’s figuring it out. He’s cashed in 12 straight worldwide.

Harris English: One of handful that has hit the top 15 the last two seasons (Rose, Finau and Bradley), English has enough power to hang-out here.

Abraham Ancer: Another week another top 30 for the Mexican who is showing no signs of slowing down. He’s giving me no reason to drop him so I won’t!

Jason Kokrak: Gave him a look last week as well and he cashed for the 10th event running. Knocks it a mile and handle a putt or two on Poa.

Cameron Champ: Many have asked so I’ll answer: Nobody doubts his length or talent. There will be ups-and-downs (see Kapalua~Waialae) as the learning curve will be navigated. This week the length is a clear differentiator but he’ll need to be sharp around the greens. I’m learning, too!

Cameron Smith: Australian Snedeker is trending in the proper direction (T33, T20) here.

Kyle Stanley: Top 10 in fairways and greens are never a bad combo. Unfinished business here from 2012 and a forecast that will help this year.

J.J. Spaun: I can’t hide him anywhere this week. Hopefully T51 in the desert last week will push him back into the crowd and nobody will notice his cuts-made streak.

Ryan Palmer: After reaching the playoff last year he was probably wondering what took him so long to make it back. His previous appearance was 2010.

Adam Scott: First-timer is shaking the schedule up. I have no idea which Adam Scott is showing up but if it’s the beast from tee-to-green, he should be of value this week.

Beau Hossler: So-Cal native wonderfully all-or-nothing so I’m hoping the classic courses snap him back into form.

Luke List: Pulls pin. Chucks grenade. Runs. That’s what you do when facing T4-MC-T4-MC.

Russell Knox: Riding the wave from the last two weeks as T43 turned to T18 turns to…

 

Caution

Jordan Spieth: Though I could not caution all, still might warn a few; don’t lend a hand to raise no flag atop a ship of fools. In 10 rounds he’s broke 71 exactly once.

Rickie Fowler: Old-skewl gamers will remember when he was T20 or better in his first four here. NEW SCHOOL gamers who believe in course form stopped reading at “Fowler”. Let’s see if his new Taylor Made golf ball helps.

Hideki Matsuyama: He doesn’t play up to his level here or at Waialae. Don’t let a wind-aided 69 in the final round last year convince you otherwise. Let him get the kinks out and WHAM! OAD WINNER NEXT WEEK in Scottsdale.

Pat Perez: Didn’t play last year and WD last week MID ROUND with a thumb problem. Everyone knows he grew up on this course.

Charley Hoffman: 21 starts, two top-10 checks. The money he raises for charity during this week is more important to the golf. He gets it.

 

Coming in HAWT

Long Shots, Course Horses, Wings, Prayers

Rory Sabbatini: DFS gold as he was T20 and T14 the last two years.

Alex Prugh: Washington state native has two T5 in four starts. He’s back for the first time since 2015.

Jimmy Walker: Loves Hawaii-California golf but Riviera is his favorite course.

Adam Svensson: Now do it on a track where par matters. I’m watching after T43 with a 61 at Sony followed by T18 last week.

J.T. Poston: T20 and T7 in his last two on TOUR. He’ll be a course horse in the desert next year or next week.

Talor Gooch: Led the field in SG:Tee-to-Green on The Stadium Course last week and cashed fourth. Tee-to-Green travels folks.

Trey Mullinax: His three best paydays in 2018 were on demanding golf courses (Innisbrook, TPC San Antonio and TPC Southwind). Somebody tell him this is called TPC Torrey Pines and we’ll all cash.

Scott Langley: PXG = T43 and T12 in 2019.

Brandon Harkins: T12 last year for the West Coast native. His best results are on this coast.

Hunter Mahan: 11 for his last 11 here.

Michael Kim: Sat two shots off the lead after 54 holes in both 2016 and 2018. Both of those years had nasty winds on Sunday.

Michael Thompson: T11 and T14 when it doesn’t blow. Too many decent finishes recently to omit.

Keith Mitchell: Bombs away. Navigated a difficult NINE BRIDGES for T14 and thought his way around Waialae for T16. Licking his chops.

Hudson Swafford: Another weekend will make it 12 straight on TOUR. Do NOT look up his scoring average on the South.

Jhonattan Vegas: Four straight here broken last year but six of eight career.

 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out on Twitter (@MikeGlasscott) or email me mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

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