01/21/2014

Don’t try to convince me, I understand already. The Humana is a PGA Tour event. The Hyundai offered 30 champions from the 2013 PGA Tour season and the Sony Open was the season’s (2014) first full-field event. But here is my claim: Torrey Pines is where the season truly begins.

Tiger is in the field this week, making a run at his 8th win at the Farmers Insurance. Phil Mickelson is flying back from Abu Dhabi, after a 2nd place finish, to compete in the FIO (Farmers Insurance Open, we’ll say FIO). Watney, Hunter, Keegan, Haas, Bubba, Snedeker and Spieth are all in the field this week. We’re ready for some fireworks at the FIO, are you?

Come take a ride to Pickstown (not Pickstown, South Dakota, but Picks-town the place where we make picks for the week…):


Contenders

Brandt Snedeker

He won here in 2012 and has a handful of other very respectful appearances at Torrey Pines. In 2007, he fired the North course’s record 61. Brandt has transformed himself into one of the Tour’s week-in-week-out performers. Last year, Brandt opened with a 65 before riding it to a T2. His track record on the North and South’s courses is well-documented and there is no reason to believe he won’t play well again this week.

In case you question his current form, he fired a second round 64 last week at the Humana. I would be quite surprised to see Brandt finish outside the top-20.

Brian Stuard

Listen to our podcast, Brian Stuard’s name gets mentioned in this week’s Episode #2. Stuard’s current form is impressive, logging 3 straight top-10s in his last 3 starts. Playing his college golf at Oakland, he isn’t the prototypical touring professional, but damn, the guy is productive and efficient.

He had a few top-10s in 2013, but to be honest, missed too many cuts from April – September. He earned his 2014 PGA Tour card based on the merit of his first 8 starts.

To take the next step, Stuard needs to perform with that type of consistency over the entire 9-month season. But who am I kidding, Brian already knows that.

He’ll get off to a good start this week with a top-20, at least.


 Winner

Hunter Mahan

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Read our 2014 Outlook, Dillon Friday is expecting big things from Mr. Mahan in 2014. I expect that success to begin this week at Torrey Pines. His last three seasons at Torrey have yielded nothing worse than a T15 in any year. This will be the first start of his 2013-2014 season and he’s a player who’s won before March in his career.

Certain players are early season guys. Hunter is an any time of season guy, with some more of his success coming this week at the Farmers. My pick, to win the FIO.

Troy Klongerbo

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