While the PGA Tour season started back in October, for many, things really kick-off this week at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.
Many of the world’s best will be taking to the fairways at Torrey Pines, notably Tiger Woods, who makes his 2019 debut.
Here are our golf expert gives his thoughts and best bets ahead of the action.
Tiger is the obvious starting point. His record around Torrey is exceptional – eight wins including his last Major at the 2008 US Open and if he’s in the sort of form of his win at the Tour Championship, he’s going to be bang there.
My only issue is his price; he’s available at 14/1 with Grosvenorsport.com and I think that’s a tad short. If he was 20s I’d be all over him, but at the skinnier price, I’m hesitantly going to pass him up.
Rahm hitting form at the right time
Instead, I’m very keen on the chances of 2017 champion Jon Rahm. He comes here after a sixth placed finish at last week’s Desert Classic when in truth, he didn’t get out of second gear and a cold putter at the crucial stage put paid to his chances.
He was also under the weather in the early stages of that event and now back to full strength I’m pretty confident he’s the one to beat this week, especially given his impressive recent form.
A fourth place in the DP World Tour Championship was followed by a four-shot victory at the season-ending Hero World Challenge and his finishes at the Tournament Of Champions (eighth) and last week’s sixth showed he’s still bang in form.
10/1 is still a cracking price and I’m taking him to make it two wins in the last three years.
Snedeker has a shout
Complete your staking plan with another former winner Brandt Snedeker at 40/1.
Apart from last year’s 45th placed finish and a missed cut in 2014, he has only been out of the top-10 once since 2010. As such, it’s hard to see why he’s such a big price at Torrey Pines this week.
He’s been steady so far this year, but four rounds in the 60s at the Sony Open two weeks ago suggested he’s swinging well and I think he’s overpriced back on a track he clearly loves.
He could easily make himself a three-time winner come Sunday evening.