After its second-straight overtime finish, the PGA Tour travels 150 miles southwest, from the Palm Springs desert to the San Diego coast, for this week’s Farmers Insurance Open at the venerable Torrey Pines Golf Course.
The long-running tournament, the fourth of the seven-event “West Coast Swing,” provides yet another opportunity for the players to rack up some early-season FedExCup (and Ryder Cup) points.
The field in La Jolla, California is headlined by defending champion Jon Rahm – fresh off a win at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
In addition to the newly-minted World No. 2, the 156-player field will also include superstars such as Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Tiger Woods, who will be making his first official Tour start since this event last year.
Tournament: Farmers Insurance Open
Dates: Jan. 25-28, 2018
TV Network: GOLF, CBS
Course: Torrey Pines GC (South)
Where: La Jolla, CA
Distance: 7698 yards, Par 72
Architect: William Bell
Field: 156 players
Format: 72-hole stroke; 36-hole cut
Winning Share: $1,206,000
FedEx Cup Points: 500
Defending Champion: Jon Rahm
TV & ONLINE COVERAGE
The Farmers Insurance Open, originally called the San Diego Open, has been a part of the PGA Tour since 1952, with this year’s edition being the 65th all time.
Ted Kroll was the inaugural winner, taking the first San Diego Open by three strokes over the better-known Jimmy Dameret. The tournament has taken place in the San Diego area since its inception, with Torrey Pines hosting every event since 1968.
Notable winners of the tournament include Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Johnny Miller, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Tiger Woods, and John Daly.
Woods has won an unbelievable seven times, easily the most of anyone in tournament history, with native son Phil Mickelson next with three titles. Woods also captured his last of 14 majors at Torrey Pines, winning the 2008 U.S. Open against Rocco Mediate in a playoff.
The tournament was hosted for more than 20 years by Andy Williams, with the singer’s name appearing as part of the title from 1968-88. It is also believed to be the favorite tournament of Nelson Muntz of Simpsons fame.
2010-18 Farmers Insurance Open
1992-09 Buick Invitational
1989-91 Shearson Lehman Open
1986-88 Shearson Lehman-Andy Williams Open
1983-85 Isuzu-Andy Williams Open
1981-82 Wickes-Andy Williams San Diego Open
1968-80 Andy Williams San Diego Open Invitational
1957-67 San Diego Open Invitational
1955-56 Convair-San Diego Open
1952-55 San Diego Open
2017: Jon Rahm
2016: Brandt Snedeker
2015: Jason Day
2014: Scott Stallings
2013: Tiger Woods
2012: Brandt Snedeker
2011: Bubba Watson
Wins: 7 – Tiger Woods (1999, 2003, 2005-09, 2013)
72-Hole Score: 266 (-22) – George Burns (1987), Woods (1999)
18-Hole Score: 62 – Woods (1999) (South)
Jon Rahm began the final round just outside the top 10, three strokes behind leaders Patrick Rodgers and Brandt Snedeker. The young Spaniard’s front nine was respectable: he bogeyed the first, but birdied 3 and 5 to go out in 1-under.
Rahm absolutely exploded, though, at the turn, playing a bogey-free back nine that included two eagles, with his insane putt on 18th being the exclamation point. That putt separated him from the group and led to a feeling that the tournament was over.
The former world No. 1 amateur finished with a 7-under 65 to claim victory by three strokes over Charles Howell III and Chinese Taipei Olympian Cheng Tsung Pan.
FINAL TOP 5
1 Jon Rahm -11
2 Charles Howell III -10
2 Cheng Tsung Pan -10
4 Keegan Bradley -9
4 Justin Rose -9
4 Pat Perez -9
4 Patrick Rodgers -9
4 Tony Finau -9
The field this week at Torrey Pines is headlined by a pair of legends in Woods and Mickelson, along with defending champion Rahm.
At No. 2, Rahm is the highest world-ranked player in the field.
Other top 25-ranked players include Hideki Matsuyama (No. 5), Justin Rose (No. 6), Rickie Fowler (No. 7), Marc Leishman (No. 13), Jason Day (No. 14), Brian Harman (No. 20), Charley Hoffman (No. 23), and Patrick Reed (No. 24).
In addition to Rahm, the field at Torrey Pines also includes former winners in Brandt Snedeker (2016) and Day (2015), among others.
Major winners Keegan Bradley, Jimmy Walker, and Stewart Cink are some of the other familiar names.
Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images