photo courtesy Farmers Insurance Open
The PGA Tour begins its “West Coast Swing” this week by returning to Torrey Pines, located outside of San Diego, for the Farmers Insurance Open. The tournament runs January 24-27 and will feature a stacked field. The Farmers Insurance Open has been contested since 1952 and has been won by some of the biggest names in golf including Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer and Davis Love III. The enigmatic John Daly also has a win here. However, the undisputed king of Torrey Pines is Tiger Woods, who has won the event a record 7 times including an unprecedented 4-peat from 2005-2008. The defending champion is Australian golfer Jason Day.
2018: A Monday Finish
Jason Day. photo courtesy PGA Tour
Last year’s Farmers Insurance Open provided a memorable finish when Jason Day, Ryan Palmer and Alex Noren all finished the tournament at -10, forcing a playoff. Palmer was finished on the first extra hole but Day and Noren would match each other through 5 extra holes until darkness forced an end to Sunday’s action. The 6th playoff hole took place on Monday and proved decisive. Day would approach the green from 85 yards with a precise wedge shot that took him to within a foot and a half of the hole. Meanwhile, Noren’s approach shot saw his ball fly into the pond known affectionately as “Devlin’s Billabong”. Day would tidy up his putt and claim his first victory in almost 2 years.
Day will return to the Farmers Insurance Open to defend his title. If Day repeats, it would be his third title at Torrey Pines. Tiger Woods will also be appearing at his first PGA Tour event of the season and hoping to add to his impressive amount of wins. While Torrey Pines feels like a second home to Woods, 2019 marks Rory McIlroy’s first trip to the tournament. Other top-ranked competitors include Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed. Xander Schauffele is also scheduled to compete and will look to make amends for a dismal record at Torrey Pines. Schauffele has missed the cut in every one of his previous 3 attempts. The competitive field looks to make this a must-watch tournament, and fans can enjoy television coverage provided by the Golf Channel and CBS. Coverage is provided by the Golf Channel Thursday and Friday, 3-7pm ET. Saturday and Sunday coverage is 1-2:45pm ET on the Golf Channel and 3-6pm ET on CBS.
Rory McIlroy makes his first Farmers Insurance Open appearance. photo credit: Reuters