The West Coast Swing continues this week with the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California. Over the years both Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods have shared ownership of this course, but despite Tiger’s seven career victories at Torrey, he hasn’t had much success since 2008. The tournament features two courses (North and South), the North course being the easier track of the two, which every player gets one crack at over the first two days. Last year Brandt Snedeker won in a playoff against Kyle Stanley, who threw the tournament away with a Sunday 74, leaving the door open for Snedeker.
A Group – Even though Phil Mickelson is talking about packing up and moving out of the U.S. due to high taxes, I still have to pick him to start this week at Torrey. He’s a three-time champion at Torrey Pines and also has 10 top 10s to go along with those. Don’t be fooled by his T37 last week, Lefty shot -17 over the final three days of the tournament and on these two courses this week where he has a lot of familiarity, he could light it up. Backing him up will be returning champion Brandt Snedeker, who’s continuing the momentum from his FedEx Cup title already in this young season.
B Group – California boys Nick Watney and Hunter Mahan get the start this week in the B group. Not a great showing by Watney here last year, but he finished T6 in 2011, T9 in 2010, and won the event in 2009. Mahan got off to a hot start last year but faded towards the end of the season. But he’s also got a fantastic track record at Torrey as well, finishing T6 in each of his last two years there. Mahan ranked 12th in GIR in 2012, and on the more difficult South course, hitting greens carries additional weight.
C Group – I guess I see a theme trending here with another California native, Rickie Fowler getting the nod. I swear I didn’t plan it exactly that way. Fowler has three top 20s in his only three starts at Torrey Pines. To back him up I like Scott Piercy who took some time off after playing both events in Hawaii, where he posted two top 15s.
Starting Foursome: Phil Mickelson, Nick Watney, Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler
On the Bench: Brandt Snedeker, Dustin Johnson, Marc Leishman, Scott Piercy