Farmers Insurance Open | Top Bets

By: Joe Berra

Just like I said in my Australian Open | ATP Men’s Quarters article yesterday, people ask me every day, “Do people actually bet on golf?” And again my answer is simple, “YES, and if you don’t, you should.” If you take the time to do some research, to go along with some common knowledge of golf, it’s not that difficult to determine who will have a shot at victory when they make the turn on Sunday.

There are basically two main ways to bet golf. The first, which is what I am going to cover below, is to bet pre-tournament on the winner. This is profitable because odds will range anywhere from +600 for the favorite Jason Day to +9500 (Brendon De Jonge), as is the case this weekend. So you can see with those kind of odds, there is money to be made. A $10 wager on De Jonge will win you $950.

The second way to bet on golf is through match-ups, both for the entire tournament and rounds. An example of this, as found at America’s Bookie, would be a tournament match-up between Jason Day and Rickie Fowler. The winner will be the player at the end of the tournament that has the lowest score in relationship to par. In this example, Day is -145 to win and Fowler +125.

This weekend’s PGA stop is the second of the West Coast Swing to really get the PGA season started at beautiful Torrey Pines in the community of La Jolla in San Diego, California. The Pacific coastal course features the North and South courses with players playing three of their 4 rounds on the much more difficult South course. Players will play one of their two opening rounds on the North course, with the final two rounds played on the South.

Last season, the North course was ranked the 46th toughest on tour (7,052 yards, Par 72) while the South had only 5 courses ranked tougher. The South course is the longest non-major every year at 7,698 yards, ranking as the second-hardest par 72 last season including a final round average score of 74.054, a season high.

Here are some guys I’ll be putting some money on in hopes of making my Sunday a little brighter.

Jason Day – +600

I’m going to start off easy and go with the defending champion. Day won a playoff with three others last year (Harris English, J.B. Holmes, Scott Stallings) to take the title, his third PGA win at the time. Of course, he won another four events last year to boost that total. Last year Day won with rounds of 73, 65, 71 and 70, good for 9-under par. Day should be well rested playing only one event so far this year, although he is said to be battling flu-like symptoms, so check the updates before you get this one in.

J.B. Holmes – +3500

As printed above, J.B. Holmes placed in second last year after losing to Day in a playoff at last year’s Farmers Insurance Open. He was rock solid posting scores of 69, 70, 68 and 72. Holmes has the distance off the tee to shorten the long South course with a soft touch around the greens to help him get up and down. Holmes is one of the hottest golfers of late, finishing T4, T8, T8 and T24 (with a T12 at the Franklin Templeton Shootout) in his last starts.

Jimmy Walker – +1750

Walker has a history of doing well at Torrey Pines with finishes of T7, CUT, T4 and T8 in the last four seasons. He’s started the year well, finishing T8, T10 and T13 in his last 3 events including a 12-under 268 at the Sony Open. Walker had a breakout 2015 with five top 5’s and two wins. He has the game to get it done here.

Patrick Reed – +1350

Before his T56 finish at last week’s CareerBuilder Challenge, Reed posted finishes of 2, T12 and 2 in his three previous events. Reed has the short game to overcome the tough up-and-downs Torrey Pines is famous for. He currently ranks 84th in driving distance (293.4), 53rd in driving accuracy (66%) and 11th in both greens in regulation percentage (78.17%) and strokes gained: tee to green (1.681). All this is sure to get hiss core well under par.

PS…We don’t get enough of John Daly.

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