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Farmers Insurance Open Preview, Picks & Analysis

By: Golfshake Editor | Mon 25 Jan 2016 | Comments

JASON DAY gave a hint of what was to come when he won the Farmers Insurance Open, beating the big-hitting JB Holmes and Harris English in a playoff. Of course, he would go on to suffer a vertigo attack at the US Open, narrowly missed out on The Open, then won the Canadian Open and US PGA Championship.

He won his first major the hard way, beating world No1 Jordan Spieth. The Australian played sensational golf for two months, barely putting a foot wrong along the way. Question marks still surround his health as doctors have been unable to pinpoint the cause of his balance problems. But one thing is for sure - if Day remains fit and well throughout 2016 we can expect to see a terrific battle for the majors between him, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and perhaps Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler. It really is a mouthwatering prospect for us all.

Day played reasonably well at the Tournament of Champions but later admitted that he felt ring rusty after taking time away from competitive golf. He said that he was just happy to get out there again. Well his rivals will know that there will be ring rust this week. Day is a proud man, and although this may not be the biggest title on the PGA Tour, it would mean a great deal to the Australian to successfully defend it.

The Queenslander has a very good record in this event, played at Torrey Pines, near San Diego, also finishing in the top 10 in 2013 and 2014.

There will be massive support for Phil Mickelson, who is a local boy and a three-time winner of the event, but the last one of those came way back in 2001. Mickelson has been working solidly on his swing for three months and finally seems to have eliminated the wild drives from his game - and when Lefty finds fairways he can win any tournament. At 45 he knows that time is running out, but I have a feeling he is going to have a big season.

Rickie Fowler returns to the PGA Tour after winning the Abu Dhabi championship. Fowler is now the complete golfer, able to win on any course, in any conditions, and he wants to be involved in any shake-up that involves Day, Spieth and McIlroy. Justin Rose also believes he belongs in that company and gets his season properly under way at Torrey Pines.

I also like the chances of Bill Haas, who is a form horse at Torrey Pines and hits the ball far enough not to be troubled by the length of the place.  Marc Leishman, of Australia, has twice finished runner-up at the Farmers Insurance Open, a sure sign that he has a liking for the California coastline - and, let's be honest, who doesn't?

Shane Lowry will be playing a great deal of his golf in the United States this year and he is in the field. Torrey Pines should suit his game. Bryson DeChambeau, the US Amateur champion, has been attracting his fair share of headlines of late, but many believe that Ollie Schniederjans, who did so well at The Open at St Andrews, will have a better career and it would be no surprise to see him figure this week.

This time last year, Dustin Johnson chose this event to make his return to action after his 'leave of absence'. He didn't win, but it wasn't long before he did. This course is made for his game and if he can drive the ball well and putt even half-decently, he will surely take some beating. He is my pick - and you will get decent odds.

Farmers Insurance Open Betting Tips

To Win

Dustin Johnson. Ready to win again

Each Way

Jason Day. Loves this course

Each Way

Phil Mickelson. Make no mistake, he is ready to win again

Fantasy Picks

Dustin Johnson. Could go really low

Jason Day. Look out for another stellar year

Phil Mickelson. It certainly won't be boring

Justin Rose. Mr Consistency

Shane Lowry. At home in America now

Jimmy Walker. Another one who likes Torrey Pines

Bill Haas. Always does well early season

Hideki Matsuyama. Believes he is as good as Spieth and company

Ollie Schniederjans. A terrific prospect

Marc Leishman. Has good record here

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What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)

Tags: tour phil PGA mickelson Johnson Jason Dustin day


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