If this doesn’t get you geeked up, I’m not sure what will (play this while you read – it sets the tone)….

Last year at this time, we were celebrating the return of the Big Cat. Now we’re mourning him, and welcoming Dustin Johnson back into the fold (your Dustin Johnson coke joke was never funny). Reports are that the rough is up, much like last year, which could cut into some of the fun. I’m also still hungover from Brooks Koepka’s huge win that we may have mentioned this week. Coming off two Horschel wins in September (and skipping over the Fall Series that doesn’t count), Patrick Reed’s win in Hawaii, and Koepka’s coming out party, I’m even more insufferable than normal. Let’s do this! (By the way, this is my effort level this week:)


Torrey Pines (North and South)

The Farmers Insurance Open (San Diego Open for traditionalists) sprawls out across the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines on Thursday and Friday before settling on the much more difficult and defined South Course for the weekend. Torrey remains one of the most beautiful and scenic courses in the world, despite the fact both courses get over 92,000 (!) rounds per year each. The South is a big ballpark (think Petco Park) at 7,643 yards, while the easier North plays to a meager 6,874. Little known fact about the course is that it overlooks the largest nude beach in the country (the link is safe, no nudity). As fun as the Waste Management is, it’s manufactured track in the middle of a dessert, and man made stadium atmosphere lacks the authenticity of the breathtaking views of the shores of La Jolla.

The South Course famously played host to the 2008 US Open, Tiger’s one-legged triumph over Rocco, so it has a legacy to match the scneic views. Fresh off the last several weeks of avian genocide (birdies galore), it’s going to be a little weird seeing guys pumped to make par, especially on the weekend. The main scoring opportunities on the South Course are the four par-5’s, but measuring 560, 613, 541, and 572 yards, respectively, they possess plenty of girth and certainly aren’t auto-birdies.

The winning recipe is to get as fat as possible on the North Course, where the par-5’s are extremely vulnerable (listed at only 520, 548, 507, and 485 (!!!) yards, respectively) and the 326-yard, par-4 2nd played as the second-easiest par-4 on Tour last year. Then you strap up and go about your business on the South Course, constantly picking your spots and taking care not to make big numbers.


When the big guns come out, so do the galleries. CBS will sprinkle in the sights and sounds of SoCal at every turn (aforementioned hang-gliders galore, surfer bros/chicas wandering the premises stoned to the bejesus and decked out in their Billabong duds and hater-blocker sunglasses), making everyone wonder at least a few dozen times why the hell they don’t live in San Diego (where you could play Torrey South for $61 on weekdays as a City resident).

Last Year

Trying to forget that Scott Stallings won this thing and cheated us out of a six man playoff. So just look at this GIF and let’s move on.

Event History

Once the tournament hits Saturday it becomes a veritable BSD ball-striking convention. Tiger has won the event seven times in fourteen starts, while Lefty has three wins in his career (though nobody likes to mention his last win came way back in 2001). More recently, in non-Tiger years, heavy-hitters like John Daly (’04), Nick Watney (’09), and Bubba Watson (’11) have captured the hardware, though Ben Crane (’10) and Brandt Snedeker (’12) have proven distance isn’t a definite requirement.

This event has been renamed 13 times! Notably, from 1968 to 1980 it was named the Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational. Still trying to figure out how a tournament can be an “invitational” but yet be “open”? It went on for 13 years under this title from 1968 to 1980.

Big Cat would be rolling in his grave if we didn’t show a highlight of his from Torrey. Listen to the crowd here. Have you ever heard anything like that on TV?

Soly’s Picks

  • Hideki MatsuYOTTO (20/1) – His odds keep shrinking but he keeps contending. I’m going to keep picking him.
  • Brooks Koepka (25/1) – Nope, odds still aren’t low enough. 2 more units on him this week. He’s going to win again this week. I’M SAYING IT. HE’S WINNING THE FARMERS.
  • Justin Thomas (40/1) – Still on board despite a shaky weekend in Phoenix. Fatigue may be a factor, but Torry is great for a guy that stripes it the way he does.
  • Gary Woodland (40/1) – Was in the hunt here last year until he derailed on the back 9. MC at Phoenix last week, but top 5’d two weeks prior to that. Big boy ball park here, and he’s a big boy.
  • Russel Knox (66/1) – T10 here last year, and T15 last week in Phoenix. I feel like he could win an event this year.
  • Paul Casey (80/1) – Tron is on this one, so I’ll ride it.
  • EDIT (pre-tourney) – 8 units on Tiger +150 to MISS the cut. I would make it more, but this line just seems like one of those “this is way too obvious, what does Vegas know that I don’t know” lines, but I cannot picture Cat making the cut this week.

(Tracker: +46 units in 2015)

The Fringe

  • I don’t have a hot take on Big Cat. A lot is being made of the chipping, but we should be making a lot about the chipping. This is an epidemic! I’ve never seen a pro hit 5 hideous chips in a two tournament span, much less hit approximately 15. And this is Tiger Woods! Also, remember when the @GCTigerTracker tried to tell us he bladed this chip on purpose?
  • I’m expecting DJ to be in form right away, and he’s going to have a big year. The majors set up real well for him this year, and I honestly think he’ll be as refocused as much as his brain allows him to be.
  • Let’s hope CBS bounces back from the abomination that was the final round of the Waste Management. I saw more swings from Larry Fitzgerald than I did from Brooks Koepka on the back nine until he got to #16 in the lead. Jordan Spieth could have been carrying an AK47 on his march up the leaderboard and CBS wouldn’t have cut away commercial break. We know the AT&T is the worst broadcast of the year, but let’s hope this week Nantz and company show golf this weekend.
  • FYI on our previews: A lot of the stuff that applies to multiple years (course, vibe, etc.), you’re going to see some stuff that we’ve just rolled forward from last year’s preview (mostly Tron Carter’s work). Is this poor journalism? Absolutely. That’s why we aren’t actually journalists. Of course the picks section, and recent events will always be updated, but previews are hard to do, and there is no point in trying to recreate some of the stuff that we’ve already covered.

Check in with the NLU Gang all week on twitter whilst we do our usual hood-rat act: @NoLayingUp.