Farmers Insurance Open Betting Tips
Robert Cobley is a maths graduate with years of experience in the sports betting industry. He has now teamed up with Bet UK to bring his golf betting tips to our readers. For the latest golf betting odds for the Farmers Insurance Open, make sure to head over to Bet UK’s online betting and live in-play betting markets.
Rob Cobley’s World Tour Championship Betting Tips
The Farmers Insurance Open is one of the strongest events on the PGA Tour, and as ever, attracts one of the deepest and most formidable fields of the year as the players head to the Monterey Peninsula and the gem that is Torrey Pines. Played over two courses, each player gets one round on the North Course over the first two days, and plays their other three rounds over the South Course; home to several US Opens including Tiger Woods' famous win here in 2008. This is a venue that will host the 121st US Open here in June.
The South Course, Torrey Pines - Southern California, USA - 7,700 Yards, Par 72
The South Course at Torrey Pines is one of the finest courses in the USA and, as the honour roll shows, has hosted some of the greatest champions in golf. Opened in 1957, and on a clifftop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the South Course was redesigned by Reese Jones back in 2001, who lengthened it to the brutally tricky 7,700-yard beast that it is today. A proper all-around golf test, the South requires the players to hit the ball straight from the tee, shape it both ways, and punishes, severely in many cases, any foul shots. From the tee, bigger hitters are at an advantage purely due to the course's length and the fact that long drives make the course more manageable. There is, however, no substitute for accuracy and errant drives will find the thick rough and dangerously-placed fairway bunkering that is especially prevalent over the back nine holes.
The South Course greens are not vastly different to those on the North and are not where it shows its teeth. The greenside bunkering is strong, and the rough around the greens is deep. If players are approaching from the rough, or even from the wrong side of the fairway, they are well-advised to be conservative. Double bogeys or worse are not uncommon here, and such a stiff test of golf invariably produces a high calibre winner.
The North Course, Torrey Pines - Southern California, USA - 7,250 Yards, Par 72
At some 450 yards shorter, the North is the easier of the two courses on the Torrey Pines estate and typically plays two shots lower than the South. Driving is again at a premium, although less so given the length. Wayward shots are often punished, and the field cannot afford any drop in concentration, as Torrey North is still far more challenging than the courses that they play most weeks. One piece of respite lies in two very birdie-able par 5s. The greens are also slightly larger and therefore more forgiving, but it is still vital that the players do not miss them on the wrong side.
The winner this week will need to drive the ball exceptionally well, and the experience of putting on poa annua greens is a significant advantage. Course form is highly relevant here.
Last Five Winners
The Market Leaders
As ever, the Farmers Insurance Open brings one of the most elite fields in golf to the Californian coast. Unfortunately, the event clashes with the Dubai Desert Classic, but it is ultimately Torrey Pines that wins out, which is certainly the case this year. Market favourite John Rahm (13/2) is far more of a PGA Tour player than a European one, so would likely have been here regardless. Back in 2017, it was the venue for his maiden career win as a professional when he stunningly chipped in for eagle down the slippery 18th green. Since then, Rahm has gone from strength to strength, and his performances here have reflected that with a 5th and a 2nd in the last two years. Rahm loves challenging links venues, as we have seen from wins in Scotland and Ireland, and he, again, has to be taken very seriously here. Rahm made his opening start at Kapalua three weeks ago when he finished 7th in a limited field, so his game seems to be carrying over from last season when he was in excellent form. He is a strong contender here.
Rory McIlroy (15/2) would almost certainly have stayed in the Gulf and played Dubai this week had it not clashed with this event. This year, the Farmers Insurance provides the bonus of being a warm-up for the US Open in five months, so Rory making the trip is no surprise. Until 2019, McIlroy had never played this event, but he has finished 5th and 2nd in his two starts and arrives on the back of a hugely disappointing 2nd in Abu Dhabi. His game looked excellent there. However, the mental side continued to let him down as he blew a substantial lead to Tyrrell Hatton and eventually lost by four strokes. Rory is incredibly consistent and will be thereabouts come the weekend.
Xander Schauffele (12/1) has a quite abysmal record at Torrey Pines, with five missed cuts in six starts, the other being a 25th. He finished 5th at Kapalua and ended last season in good form, but the price, albeit for a highly talented player, seems incredibly short. His form cannot be ignored, and something is preventing him from performing here. Until he shows a lot more, he is impossible to support.
Rob's Golf Betting Tips
Headline Betting Tip
I've outlined above how much Rory's game is in shape at the moment, and that his suitability to Torrey Pines is undisputed given his top-five finishes in both appearances here, including last year's 3rd place. McIlroy's game is in tip-top shape. His driving and iron play was exquisite in Abu Dhabi, and only a few mental errors prevented him from running away with the event after his opening 64. That does sum Rory up over the past few years, where one has to say his results haven't matched his supreme talent. It will be interesting to see how playing regular golf with no fans affects that; my instinct is not much, but you can never be sure.
With calm conditions forecast this week, even factoring in the travel, it is impossible not to see Rory contending come the weekend. Outside of him and Rahm, the market lacks significant depth, and with low scoring out there, and this being a long game course that favours right to left ball-strikers, the conditions are all in his favour. I don't usually lean towards market favourites, but I cannot be put off backing Rory with 5 points e/w at 15/2.
Other Betting Tip
Byeong-hun An has gone through a very flat part of his career lately. He achieved just three top 10 finishes last season, which for a player of his calibre simply isn't good enough. However, there were signs last week on his reappearance that 2021 could be a different year for the two-time winner of The Memorial. An has a fantastic long game and has contended or won on some of America's most challenging courses, from Muirfield Village to Congressional, and PGA National. Although his West Coast form is slightly more sketchy than his performances elsewhere, I see no reason why he can't put in a strong performance here at Torrey Pines. Last week, An made 24 birdies or better in his 72 holes at the PGA West Country Club down in Palm Springs, so the putter is working well, and with the long game to match, he comes in very much under the radar at this price on a stricter course which will suit him very well.
In his two appearances here, An has made the cut on both occasions without challenging but seems great value given his showing last week to outperform those finishes. I have backed him with 2 points e/w at 100/1.
Following a rolling profit of 300 points for the 2019 & 2020 seasons, I am looking for a great 2021, and have some great bets lined up for events throughout the year on both the PGA and European Tours. Each week I will pick between two to four selections at each event, and suggest a suitable staking plan.