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This week, the PGA Tour is in the San Diego area for the Farmers Insurance Open. The annual stop at Torrey Pines sports a 156-player field battling to make the weekend cut playing a round each on the North and South courses on the publicly-accessible property.
Jason Day is the defending champion, but he pulled out of the Wednesday pro-am with flu-like symptoms. Beware the sick golfer, they say, but we’re not sure if that’ll mean good things for the Aussie – like when he won The Barclays last summer after pulling out of a pro-am due to illness – or a tough few days.
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Here are our top 4 players for this year:
Day’s breakout 2015 PGA TOUR campaign got kickstarted with a playoff win in last February’s Farmers Insurance Open. He followed it up with four more wins in ’15, including a major victory at the PGA Championship. He’s only entered one stroke-play event since September, a 10th-place finish at the Tournament of Champions earlier this month. Although Day will be a surefire favorite if he plays, there is some concern over whether he’ll be healthy enough to compete. Day pulled out of the Pro-Am on Wednesday, citing flu-like symptoms. It remains to be seen whether he’ll make it for the tournament proper, but if he does, don’t be concerned about illness slowing him down. The last time Day withdrew from a Pro-Am was at he Barclays last year, a tournament he won.
As a youth revolution takes hold of the PGA TOUR, Fowler looks to join the best of the best. Fowler won in Abu Dhabi last week, prompting some to say golf now has a “Big Four” instead of “Big Three,” adding Fowler to a group that includes Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. While Fowler is certainly one of the best golfers plying his trade today, he’s still a step behind those three, all of whom have won a major title. Back-to-back wins by Fowler to start ’15 would give him lots of momentum to go out and get that first major this year.
Torrey Pines is built for those who can drive the long ball. Snedeker is good — not great — off the tee, but he’ll more than make up for that on the green, considering he’s one of the game’s best putters. The main reason he makes this list is his outstanding play at the Farmers Insurance Open in the past. Snedeker has five top-10 finishes in nine appearances at the event, including runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2013, as well as a win in 2012. More importantly, Snedeker has been lights out for the last month or so, winning the Franklin Templeton Shootout, tying for third at the Tournament of Champions and getting runner-up at the Sony Open.
So what if the Hefty Lefty is a few years off his prime? Torrey Pines is a hometown course for Mickelson, a San Diego native. And this is his 27th time competing in the Farmers Insurance Open, winning three of them. However, his last win at the event came way back in 2001, and in the past four years he’s missed the cut twice, withdrawn once and finished 51st the other time. Mickelson’s a bomber, though, and he should be able to handle the course’s distance. You also have to factor in the fact he finished tied for third last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge. If he plays as well as he did last week, between his big drive and a hometown crowd cheering him on, Mickelson may have enough to get the win for old time’s sake.
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