2021 Farmers Insurance Open Sleeper Picks: The Best Longshot Bets to Win at Torrey Pines
Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Noren
- Torrey Pines hasn't been a happy hunting ground for longshots in the past, but there are plenty of intriguing names down the oddsboard this week.
- Gary Woodland, Alex Noren and Wyndham Clark rank among our favorite sleepers at the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open:
We’ve reached the part of the PGA TOUR calendar where things start to heat up. Most players are coming into the Farmers Insurance Open with at least one tournament under their belt. The whispers about the looming Major Championships start getting a little bit louder. And, of course, this event takes place at one of the TOUR’s most iconic tracks: Torrey Pines.
While Torrey Pines has not typically been a happy hunting ground for longshots in the past, there have been some under-the-radar winners in the past. Scott Stallings won this event as a triple-digit sleeper in 2014 and last year’s winner, Marc Leishman, went off at +5000.
Here are our favorite longshot bets to win the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open:
Wyndham Clark (+16000)
When trying to prognosticate future long-term success of some young players, there are plenty of metrics and data points we can use to help build – or flatten – our stance. Or we can keep it simple. I’ll choose to employ the latter strategy when it comes to Clark, boiling his game down to two easy stats: He hits it far and makes a lot of putts. Those two qualities alone are enough to help us understand that if his irons and wedges are working on a given week, he has a chance to do some serious damage.
I think Clark is going to pop at some point here on the West Coast in the next month-and-a-half, so maybe it’ll be this week. I certainly don’t mind backing him for a conservative play such as top-20/30.
Talor Gooch (+10000)
Gooch was on the card last week and posted a solid result, so I’ll go back to him at a big number on a course where he finished third two years ago.
Gooch has driven the ball well in both of his 2021 starts and is a good putter on poa, so he hopefully he can bounce back after costing himself six strokes with his scrambling at the American Express.
Cameron Champ (+8500)
Length is a big advantage at Torrey Pines, and Cameron Champ checks in as one of the longest players on TOUR. He will be able to take full advantage of that strength and if he can dial in the irons, he should be set to complete in this field.
I am not too worried about the missed cut from Champ last week as he ran into some harsh luck that seemed to take him out early after an approach clanged off the flag in the air and rolled into the water, leading a triple bogey on Thursday.
He showed an ability in the fall to bounce back from bad performances and I think we’ll see that again this week at the Farmers, where he has a skillset to compete down the stretch of the weekend.
Alex Noren (+9000)
Alex Noren is a very good golfer who’s endured a bit of a tough stretch in the last year or so. Long term, he is a gritty competitor and an excellent long iron player. I expect the Swede to have a bounce-back year and that begins with getting in contention at Torrey Pines.
In 2018, Noren narrowly missed out on a win here after losing in a six-hole playoff to Jason Day. International players have won five of the last six titles at this event. Noren would love for that trend to continue in 2021 with a victory.
Gary Woodland (+7000)
Woodland was not right towards the tail end of 2020, which we found out this week was due to his injured hip. He came out and said that he finally played four rounds of golf without any pain and he was almost brought to tears because of it.
It showed in his game as he finished in a tie for 16th last week at the Amex. He gained strokes off the tee in all four rounds, and looked especially sharp on Saturday, gaining a whopping 4.2 strokes tee-to-green.
We’re getting a really nice price on a former U.S Open champion who’s missed one career cut at Torrey Pines in 10 years, including three top-20s and two top-10s.