Tournament: Farmers Insurance Open, January 23-26, 2020
Course: Torrey Pines GC (South), 7,698 yards, par 72. Essentially San Diego, CA. The North Course (7,258/72) also will be used for the first two rounds. In year’s past, the North Course was around 5 strokes easier than the South (where the final 2 rounds are played), but no more. Both courses have undergone renovations, major ones on the North a few years ago, and some tweaks on the South in preparation for the 2021 US Open.
Purse: $7,500,000 total, $1,350,000 first prize
Defending Champ: Justin Rose. Playing almost flawless golf, Rose overtook 1st round leader Jon Rahm, and held off Adam Scott, Jason Day, and Rahm to capture his 10th PGA Tour title at 21 under par.
Fun Fact: Tiger Woods will make his 2020 debut here. When last we saw Tiger, he was going undefeated as a player, and yet also captaining the US team to victory over the Internationals in the President’s Cup in Australia. Before that, he won the ZOSO in Japan. He’s playing good golf folks, and he’s won a tournament on this course EIGHT TIMES. If he wins this week, it will be his 83rd and the most wins by anyone on the PGA Tour in history. This could be history, and Las Vegas is taking some good money on it.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 3-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 1-2:45 p.m. ET (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. ET (CBS). Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. ET (Golf Channel), 3-6:30 p.m. ET (CBS). There is also limited streaming available at PGA.com and radio on PGA Tour Radio (Sirius XM).
‘Dawgs in the Field: (3). Sepp Straka, Harris English, Keith Mitchell.
Last Week: In the inaugural American Express (formerly the Bob Hope, formerly about two dozen names that obviously didn’t stick), Sepp Straka placed 4th at 20 under par. Brendon Todd was charging up the leaderboard Sunday, but a disastrous last few holes dropped him to T37. Brian Harman played steady golf and got a T21 for his efforts. Harris English sandwiched some bad rounds around a couple of good ones, finishing T48. Russell Henley, Hudson Swafford, and Kevin Kisner all missed the cut.
So the Tour is back in San Diego and Jim Nantz will broadcast weekend golf. You could call this the beginning of the season. You could also call it tournament #14 in the current season, Whichever you choose, the professional golf season is heating up. Points and money are stacking up, pressure is building, players are taking jabs at one another, and the Tour is cracking down on slow play.
A win gets you a 2 year Tour exemption, an invitation to play the Masters, and will almost assure you of a spot in the year end FedEx Cup playoffs. So if you don’t win, you at least need to make the cut and keep earning FedEx Cup points. Speaking of which, thanks to his 4th place finish last week, Straka moves up to 50th on the points list. English actually fell down 3 spots but is still 20th. And Mitchell, who didn’t play last week, drops down 10 slots to 104th.
As more and more pros make their 2020 debuts, or at least get serious about competing, points will be at a premium. With no football this weekend, flip it on over to the golf and root on our ‘Dawgs chasing little white balls. And as always...