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2021 Farmers Insurance Open Betting Preview: Which Stats Matter at Torrey Pines?

2021 Farmers Insurance Open Betting Preview: Which Stats Matter at Torrey Pines? article feature image

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Matthew Wolff.

The PGA TOUR season ramps up this week as we head to historic Torrey Pines Golf Club for the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open.

Many fans consider this event the true start of the PGA TOUR season as it draws big names and a loaded prize pool. Torrey Pines is also the site of the U.S. Open this year, creating an interesting dynamic regarding how the course setup will contrast for the two events.

Torrey Pines Golf Club (South) is a Par 72 measuring 7,569 yards. Golfers will play three rounds on the South Course and one round on the North Course.

The South Course is the far more difficult of the two and features Poa annua greens. The North Course is 7,258 yards and features Bentgrass greens.

The 2021 Farmers Insurance Open field is a full-field event comprised of 156 golfers. The field is very strong and will include Rory McIlory, Brooks Koepka, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Gary Woodland, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, Xander Schauffele, Hideki Matsuyama, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson.

We’ve backtested past tournaments at Torrey Pines to see which metrics matter this week.

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Past Winners at The Farmers Insurance Open

  • 2020: Marc Leishman (-15)
  • 2019: Justin Rose (-21)
  • 2018: Jason Day (-10)
  • 2017: Jon Rahm (-13)
  • 2016: Brandt Snedeker (-6)
  • 2015: Jason Day (-9)

Let’s take a look at several metrics for Torrey Pines to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds:

Strokes Gained: Approach

Last year, Marc Leishman really struggled to find the fairway, but he still managed to win the tournament with stellar iron play and knocking his approach shots close to the pin.

I would anticipate lighter rough this week due to ramping up the difficulty for the U.S. Open later in the year, which makes approach more important than off-the-tee this week.

Total Strokes Gained: Approach in past 24 rounds:

  1. Keegan Bradley (+25.1) (+10000)
  2. Brooks Koepka (+19.1) (+3500)
  3. Emiliano Grillo (+17.9) (+6600)
  4. Bubba Watson (+17.8) (+4500)
  5. Will Zalatoris (+16.9) (+6600)

Driving Distance

Torrey Pines is a long course, and distance will absolutely be a major factor. Average driving distance is far greater here than your average TOUR event, while driving accuracy is far lower. We are most definitely looking at a bomber’s track this week.

Driving Distance per round in past 24 rounds:

  1. Cameron Champ (+23.5) (+8000)
  2. Rory McIlory (+23.2) (+850) 
  3. Wyndham Clark (+19.8) (+17500)
  4. Ryan Brehm (+19.0) (+50000)
  5. Will Gordon (+17.6) (+50000)

Strokes Gained: Putting (Poa)

We typically see a lot of golfers play well in this area year after year. One determining factor in the consistent results is whether or not golfers prefer the Poa out West to other surfaces.

Great Poa putters typically play very well in California.

Strokes Gained: Putting (Poa) in past 24 rounds:

  1. Louis Oosthuizen (+25.4) (+6600)
  2. Brandt Snedeker (+21.7) (+20000)
  3. Maverick McNealy (+18.6) (+17500)
  4. Brian Stuard (+18.2) (+25000)
  5. Wyndham Clark (+17.4) (+17500)

Par 4: 450-500 Yards

Torrey Pines has a total of 5 Par 4s between 450 and 500 yards on the South Course. To play well this week, golfers will need to outplay the field on these particular holes.

Total Par 4: 450-500 in past 24 rounds

  1. Patrick Reed (+19.7) (+2200)
  2. Louis Oosthuizen (+16.1) (+6600)
  3. Charles Howell III (+15.3) (+7000)
  4. Brooks Koepka (+14.0) (+3500)
  5. Viktor Hovland  (+12.8) (+3000)

Par 5: 550-600 Yards

With all four Par 5s at the Torrey Pines South Course measuring between 550 and 600 yards, the long hitters will have a major advantage. The course can be relatively difficult, so it’s an absolute must to take care of the Par 5s and make birdies.

Par 5: 550-600 in past 24 rounds:

  1. Carlos Ortiz (+12.9) (+9000)
  2. Wyndham Clark (+12.2) (+17500)
  3. Talor Gooch (+9.9) (+8000)
  4. Tony Finau (+9.1) (+1600)
  5. Sungjae Im (+8.8) (+3500)

Statistical Model

Below, I’ve reported overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed.

These rankings are comprised of SG: App (27%), Driving Distance (20%), Par 4: 450-500 (19%), Par 5: 550-600 (19% and SG: Putting POA (15%).

  1. Matthew Wolff (+3300)
  2. Sam Burns (+9000)
  3. Jon Rahm (+700)
  4. Rory McIlroy (+850)
  5. Xander Schauffele (+1100)
  6. Talor Gooch (+8000)
  7. Will Zalatoris (+6600)
  8. Hideki Matsuyama (+2200)
  9. Tony Finau (+1600)
  10. Wyndham Clark (+17500)

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