The 2015 PGA Tour continues on this week, when this year’s Farmers Insurance Open hits us smack dab in the face on Thursday, February 5th. Tiger Woods is one of the hotter names as he still tries to prove to everyone he can make it back to the highest level (he hasn’t yet), while another aging golf stud in Phil Mickelson will try to add to his solid four wins at Torrey Pines. Around since 1957, Torrey Pines plays as a par-72 and measures out at 7,698 yards. Based on the Pacific coast in San Diego, it makes for a scenic and yet challenging course.
Scott Stallings was king kong in this event last year, as he notched his third career PGA Tour win, leaving Jason Day to pick up the scraps in second place. Both could be players in this year’s Farmers Insurance Open again, but they aren’t alone by a long shot. Let’s break down the key threats to win this year’s FIO:
Dustin Johnson’s Return
Johnson returns from an almost year-long break from the green, due to personal reasons and alleged drug issues. He just became a father and assuming he’s mentally ready to make a successful comeback, his long drive needs to be looked at as a real problem for the rest of the pool.
Jason Day vs. Scott Stallings
Revenge is the natural word here, as Day was last year’s runn-erup to the aforementioned Stallings. Stallings can have his hat thrown back into the ring here as the defending champ, too, but Day has to be the sexier play. The #8 player in the world these days, Day has been red hot and should come into the Farmers Insurance Open with some nice momentum.
Jimmy Walker’s Roll
Walker is playing the best golf anyone will find right now. He finished second at the Tournament of Champions and followed that up by winning the Sony Open. He’s been a monster statistically and sits atop everyone else in the FedEx Cup Standings. He’s not necessarily a lock to win the Farmers Insurance Open, but he should be in the mix late.
Look no further than Mickelson and Woods. Mickelson withdrew from this very competition last year with a bad back, while Woods didn’t even make the cut. Woods’ making the cut will be a key storyline this year, while Mickelson appears to be in good shape and ready to create a storm this time around. Both have the talent and experience to mess with people’s picks, so be sure to consider them.
Rickie Fowler, Bill Haas, Martin Laird and Justin Rose are a few more names to watch, but in the end it might be best to go with simple logic. Jimmy Walker is red hot and he’s got to be the early favorite to end the FIO with the win.