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2021 Farmers Insurance Open Sleepers and Longshot Picks

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in Golf

Jan 26, 2021 · 5:48 AM PST

Farmers Insurance Open
Gary Woodland hits from the first tee during the final round of The American Express golf tournament on the Pete Dye Stadium Course at PGA West Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in La Quinta, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
  • The PGA Tour season continues with the Farmers Insurance Open from Torrey Pines on Thursday, January 28th
  • Former US Open champ Gary Woodland struck the ball great last week, and offers fantastic value in the outright market
  • Read below for analysis of the event and our favorite sleepers and longshot plays

The first real test on the PGA Tour schedule goes down this week at Torrey Pines, site of the 2021 US Open in June. 156 players will tee it up on Thursday, and while the top of the odds board is loaded with names like Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy, there’s still plenty of value to be found at much more favorable numbers.

2021 Farmers Insurance Open

Golfer Odds to Win Top-10 Odds Top-20 Odds
Gary Woodland +7000 +750 +300
Francesco Molinari +7000 +600 +275
Brandt Snedeker +16000 +1600 +750

Odds taken Jan. 25th at DraftKings

Woodland Rounding Into Form

It wasn’t that long ago that Gary Woodland was being crowned the US Open champion. The four-time winner’s 2020 season was derailed due to hip and back injury, causing his world ranking to plummet to #40. He ended the 2020 calendar year with back-to-back missed cuts, but he showed a lot of promise last week, in his first start of 2021.

Woodland told the media it was the first time he’s played pain-free in six months, and the results showed. He finished 16th at the AmEx, gaining 4.2 strokes with his ball striking and 7.8 total strokes for the event. Now, he returns to a course where he’s had plenty of success in the past, looking to claim his first victory since the 2019 US Open.

He’s made 10-of-11 cuts at Torrey Pines, finishing 12th or better three separate times. When he’s on, he’s one of the best ball strikers in the game, consistently gaining strokes on the field off the tee and on approach. At nearly 7,700 yards, this course is the longest on the Tour’s regular rotation, meaning bombers typically have an edge. Woodland certainly checks that box, as he averaged 314.3 yards off the tee last week, while still finding over 66% of the fairways.

Pick: Gary Woodland to Win Outright (+7000)

Molinari Makes a Strong Return

Speaking of former Major champions, Francesco Molinari returned to our lives last week and put on a ball striking clinic. The 2018 Open Champion placed 8th in his first start since the Masters, gaining 3 strokes on approach and 9.8 strokes total along the way.

The Italian was positive in strokes gained total in just one event in 2020, so to see his ball striking return to a level that propelled him to five worldwide victories in an eight month span in 2018-19 is incredibly encouraging. What’s also encouraging is his discount on the odds board. He’s +600 to finish inside the top-10 this week, which is longer than Emiliano Grillo, Ryan Palmer and Jason Kokrak to name just a few.

Pick: Francesco Molinari Top-10 Finish (+600)

Sneds is the Ultimate Course Horse

Since 2010, Brandt Snedeker has the following finishes at this event: 3, 9, 1, 19, 2, 1, 9, 2. Eight top-20’s including two victories and two more runner-ups is some of the best course history you’ll ever find.

Sneds’ 2020-21 season is off to a rough start with three consecutive missed cuts, but a trip back to his favorite destination on Tour seems like the perfect cure.

He failed to make the weekend last week at the AmEx, but a lot of that can be blamed on a poor short game. He hit 85.7% of the fairways and 69.4% of the greens in regulation, but lost a stroke around the green and another 1.5 strokes with the putter. He’s typically one of the best short game players on Tour, so I’m banking that he can correct those issues and rekindle some of his former magic.

Pick: Brandt Snedeker Top-20 Finish (+750)

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