The Farmer Insurance Open heats up this weekend. This is the fourth tournament of the 2014 PGA Tour year, so the field should be wide open. The Tour is now doing a wrap around season, which started in October.
The Farmers is always known as one of the most exciting tournaments on the schedule. Played in San Diego, California, the famous Torrey Pines sits on coastal cliffs giving a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean. There is some history behind this golf course as well. Torrey Pines was previously Camp Callan, a U.S. Army instillation during World War II.
With Tiger Woods as the defending champion, the field gets a little more exciting. Tiger has a chance to start fresh this year. This is why I am choosing him as my contender.
Tiger is hungry due to his less-than-impressive season last year. Despite his fifth straight year without a Major Victory, he did win at Torrey Pines last year and should be viewed as a major threat. Also, with a full offseason to heal it will be interesting to see if he has put his injury woes behind him.
Brandt Snedeker is my dark horse for the 2013 Farmers. Sneds has a very interesting pattern of finishes in this tournament. In the last 4 years he has finished second, first, ninth and second. It is clear that he loves this course and might be the one to win this year. Brandt was the 2012 FedEx Cup winner and Tour Champion.
Jordan Speith is my pretender. The kid is good, but that’s just it, he is still a kid. This tournament proves to be one of the toughest of the year. Course conditions are something that need to be experienced previously. A simple practice round will not suffice as enough to get the feel for a 4-day tournament in these conditions. Plus, Spieth is playing with Tiger Woods; can you say intimidating? Just as we saw with Tianlang Guan, who came out strong and shocked us all before receding after a few not-so-good finishes. Spieth needs some time on the tour to really become a force to be reckoned with.
Conditions at Torrey Pines will be challenging. Wind is going to be a big factor due to the course’s location right on the coast. The temperatures should be enjoyable for players and fans, low to mid 70s.
Knockdown shots will be crucial for players. By keeping shots low, players will be somewhat safe from the effects of the wind. Greens will be breaking heavily toward the water, and we’ve seen how fast these greens can be at Torrey. Caddies’ green-reading abilities must be impeccable.
Who will make the cut and have a chance to be this year’s Farmers Open Champion? I believe it will be the player who knows this course like the back of their hand and can pull off some tough shots into the wind. As happens every week on tour, whoever putts lights out has a great shot to win. This is why golf is one of the most interesting sports, you can prepare as much as you can but you cannot control the conditions you will be playing in.