Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Farmers Insurance Open
After a short field to start the year, and a few lackluster events the past couple weeks, the PGA Tour really gets cooking this week with the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course. The event includes two courses, with golfers splitting their Thursday-Friday rounds between the North and South courses before the top 70 (and ties) play the South course twice more over the weekend.
The San Diego, California town of La Jolla is the site, and the weather is expected to be close to perfect (as always). The South course is the longest track on Tour, stretching out to 7,698 yards for its par 72. After a renovation in 2016, the North course is no slouch in its own right at 7,258 yards, more than 200 yards longer than before the construction. The front nine and back nine were swapped as well, so any long-term course history at the North course is going to be a bit out of sorts.
Let's dig into the course and see what stats we can use to build our daily fantasy lineups this week.
Course and Tournament Info
|Season||Course||Par||Yardage||Average Score||Avg O/U Par||Rank|
|2018||Torrey Pines (South)||72||7698||72.813||+0.813||8|
|2017||Torrey Pines (South)||72||7698||72.766||+0.766||14|
|2016||Torrey Pines (South)||72||7698||74.498||+2.498||2|
|2015||Torrey Pines (South)||72||7698||73.518||+1.518||6|
|2014||Torrey Pines (South)||72||7698||73.797||+1.797||4|
|2018||Torrey Pines (North)||72||7258||71.410||-0.590||28|
|2017||Torrey Pines (North)||72||7258||71.277||-0.723||32|
|2016||Torrey Pines (North)||72||7052||70.929||-1.071||38|
|2015||Torrey Pines (North)||72||7052||70.232||-1.768||46|
|2014||Torrey Pines (North)||72||7052||70.242||-1.758||44|
The South course features poa annua greens and plays as one of the most difficult courses on Tour. Besides the length, golfers must contend with narrow fairways and fast greens. The North course was converted to bentgrass throughout during the renovation. It has played harder since then but the sample is still a little small to be considered reliable with only one round each year played there.
These stats have proven vital to success at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
|Key Stats for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s (450-500 yards)|
|Proximity Gained 175+|
Much of the content should be centered around the South course, as it will account for 75% of the rounds for finishers. And for all the talk of length, strokes gained: approach actually rates out as more important this week. According to Fantasy National Golf Club, top 10 finishers actually gained more than twice as many strokes on approach as they did off the tee at the South course (0.87 to 0.37). The greens are fast and small, and the length rears its ugly head more on the second shot than the first. Proximity will be key for golfers to put themselves in position to score from long distance.
Five of the par 4s on each course (so 10 total) fall between 450-500 yards, and the approach and proximity stats should be correlated with success on long par 4s. Birdies or better gained and bogeys avoided are not often correlated, but this week it should be a priority to identify golfers who excel at both. Unsurprisingly, those that do are some of the best in the world. When searching for values, look for golfers who excel at one and are still above average at the other.
Course History Studs
J.B. Holmes is always a threat on poa and has finishes of 4th, T33, T6, T2, and T23 in the last five years.
Charles Howell may be even better, as he (unlike Holmes) is consistently a decent putter regardless of surface. He particularly likes these greens, though, and has gained at least 3.5 strokes putting at this event in each of the last four seasons. He has turned those performances with the flat stick into four straight finishes of T16 or better.
Jason Day sandwiched two wins around two missed cuts the past four years and finished T2 in 2014. Bet on him as an outright or DFS tournament play as he is all or nothing at this event.
Tony Finau is everyone's favorite DFS target and fits the mold here as a bomber who hit his long irons well. His four trips to the Farmers have yielded results of T6, T4, T18, and T24.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.