The PGA Tour stays in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, where Tiger Woods makes his 2013 PGA Tour season debut.
Woods is joined in the field by a host of Ryder Cup stars and major winners, including Phil Mickelson, Hyundai Tournament of Champions winner Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler and Brandt Snedeker.
Snedeker won the tournament last year in dramatic circumstances. His compatriot Kyle Stanley held a three shot lead standing on the 18th tee, but he found water with his third to the par five and three putted for a triple bogey eight. Snedeker would go on to win the resulting play-off.
The tournament is again contested over Torrey Pines’ South and North courses. The North is comparatively easy at just 6,874 yards, but the brutish 7,569-yard South Course – where Woods defeated Rooco Mediate in a play-off at the US Open in 2008 – will cause most of the problems.
The tournament is steeped in history, and started out in 1927 as the San Diego Open. The past list of winners reads like a who’s who of golfing legends, with the likes of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Mickelson and Woods all triumphing in this event.
Venue: Torrey Pines (18 holes on North Course, 54 on South Course)
Date: Jan 24-27
Cours Stats: North Course – par-72, 6,874 yards; South Course – par-72, 7,569 yards
Purse: $6,100,000; winning share $1,080,000
Defending champion: Brandt Snedeker (-16)
Thursday 24 – Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 25 – Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 26 – Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Sunday 27 – Sky Sports 3 from 6pm
Phil Mickelson – The left-hander played some good golf at the Humana Challenge last week and he boasts three career victories at Torrey Pines.
Dustin Johnson – The big-hitting American won the season opener in Hawaii and should be well suited to the long South Course.
Charles Howell III – Howell III has made a fast start to the 2013 PGA Tour season, with a top-ten at the Sony Open and a play-off loss at the Humana Challenge. He’s also finished second twice at Torrey Pines.
Key Hole: The South Course’s 572-yard par-5 18th. This is a good birdie chance, but as Stanley and Andy Williams – who made a 10 when in contention in 1975 – have demonstrated, anything can happen.