Farmers Insurance Open DFS picks 2022: Why you should fade Bryson
You have been warned: Make sure to submit your lineups on time. This event starts on Wednesday and runs through Saturday! In an attempt to not compete with the NFL, the PGA Tour adjusted the schedule so this event wraps a day earlier than normal.
Now, let’s talk about Torrey Pines. The players will battle the North and South courses over the first two days before a 36-hole cut and a return to the South course for the weekend. Historically, this event garners an excellent field, and this year is no different. Six of the top 10 players in the world will be in the field this week.
Historically, golfers with length off the tee have an edge at Torrey Pines, and they can create an even larger edge by playing out of the fairway. Those pesky Poa annua greens will force golfers to focus on every single putt throughout the week.
Here are my favorite plays (and fades) this week at the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open.
Price range: $9,000 and above
High Upside: Sam Burns ($9,700 DraftKings | $11,200 FanDuel)
I’m buying all the Sam Burns stock that I can get my hands on. Over his past 50 rounds, he’s gaining at least 0.20 strokes per round in all four major categories—an impressive feat. He’s 40th in driving distance and 20th in driving accuracy this season, a combination that will be handy at Torrey Pines. He played in the final group at the Farmers on Sunday last year before fading in the final round. He’ll be looking for some redemption.
Safest Option: Jon Rahm ($11,200 DraftKings | $12,200 FanDuel)
Who else did you expect here? In 24 rounds at Torrey Pines, Rahm is gaining a staggering 3.02 strokes per round, by far the best in this field. He’s earned two wins, a runner-up finish and two more top 10s. It’s not just Torrey Pines, Rahm has been nearly dominant at every event he’s played in the last year. Rahm is nearly a lock to be contending on the weekend.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Bryson DeChambeau ($9,900 DraftKings | $11,600 FanDuel)
DeChambeau’s range of outcomes this week is about as wide as it gets for the top players in this field. I wouldn’t be surprised by a DeChambeau victory or a missed cut. His strengths will allow him to bomb it off the tee and extract it from the thick rough if he misses the fairway. The concerns, however, start with his health. DeChambeau backed out of the Sony Open, citing wrist soreness. On top of that, he’s really giving away a ton of strokes around thegreen as of late. He’s lost strokes in that category in nine straight measured events, per the RickRunGood.com golf database. With this stacked field, I’ll find other options.
Pick To Win: Xander Schauffele ($10,100 DraftKings | $11,900 FanDuel)
Schauffele has turned the tide of results at Torrey Pines in his career. After missing the cut in four of his first five trips to the course, Schauffele has notched a T-2 at the Farmers Insurance Open in 2021 and a T-7 at the U.S. Open later that summer. He’s heard of rumblings of “not winning enough,” and this would be the perfect spot to silence those comments.
$8,000 to $9,000
High Upside: Talor Gooch ($8,900 DraftKings | $10,200 FanDuel)
Can we forgive Gooch for his missed cut last week at The American Express? Prior to that event he had racked up six top-15 finishes, including a win, in his last nine starts. He still gained strokes on approach last week, keeping that streak alive at eight events in a row. He’s never missed the cut at this event and finished T-3 in 2019. I sense a quick rebound from Gooch this week.
Safest Option: Ryan Palmer ($8,100 DraftKings | $9,700 FanDuel)
Palmer has steadied the ship and has made four cuts in a row, including a T-12 at the Sony Open in his last start. I’m most excited about him because of his results at Torrey Pines. He has two runner-up finishes in his six starts, and he’s gaining 2.27 strokes per round at this course. That’s the second-best mark in the field, to Jon Rahm, per the RickRunGood.com golf database.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Patrick Reed ($8,700 DraftKings | $10,300 FanDuel)
Reed will enter the week at the defending champion, but he has been searching for his game as of late. He’s lost strokes tee to green in eight straight measured events. He’s losing a staggering 1.42 strokes per round from tee to green over his past 30 rounds. That’s the sixth-worst mark of anyone in the field. Reed’s putter will need to run scorching hot if he wants to contend this week.
Pick To Win: Max Homa ($8,400 DraftKings | $9,500 FanDuel)
We’ve seen Homa find success on longer, more difficult courses—like his wins at Riviera and Quail Hollow. With California roots, Homa knows how to putt on Poa annua greens. He’s gaining 0.23 strokes per round in his career, and it’s his best surface.
$7,000 to $8,000
High Upside: Keegan Bradley ($7,900 DraftKings | $9,600 FanDuel)
If you hit it long and straight, you’ll be fine at Torrey Pines. That’s great news for Bradley, who is consistently near the top of the total driving statistic on tour—an aggregate ranking of distance and accuracy. The question, of course, is the putter. Bradley’s been able to make it work at Torrey Pines, and it has resulted in six top-25 finishes in his 10 starts.
Safest Option: Mito Pereira ($7,400 DraftKings | $9,100 FanDuel)
Don’t forget about Mito Pereira! After a hot run during the summer, he cooled off down the stretch—and we haven’t seen him since the RSM Classic. Even after “cooling off,” he notched 11 Top 40s in his 14 PGA Tour starts last year with four of them being top-sixfinishes. He’s a stellar ball-striker who won three times on the Korn Ferry Tour last season.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Jhonattan Vegas ($7,400 DraftKings | $8,700 FanDuel)
The Poa annua greens at Torrey Pines can create chaos for golfers all week long, which is a big concern for Vegas. He’s lost strokes putting in nine consecutive events on the surface, per the RickRunGood.com golf database. Going back even further, he’s a loser in 14 of his past 16 on Poa annua. That’s a big red flag that I’ll avoid this week.
Pick To Win: Lanto Griffin ($7,700 DraftKings | $9,400 FanDuel)
Griffin plays a style of golf that relies on his approach play and putter. The good news is that when those two facets get hot, he has plenty of upside. We saw it last week at The American Express as he finished T-3. He could be dangerous at Torrey Pines if he can keep it going at an event that he’s earned two top-12 finishes in his past three starts.
$6,900 and below
High Upside: Patrick Rodgers ($7,100 DraftKings | $8,600 FanDuel)
Rodgers has a few things going for him that could make him dangerous at Torrey Pines. He’s an excellent driver of the ball, ranking 25th in this field in strokes gained/off the tee, the same ranking as Dustin Johnson. Maybe more importantly, he’s the best Poa annua putter in this field. He’s gaining nearly a stroke per round over 51 measured rounds on the surface, per the RickRunGood.com golf database.
Safest Option: Sam Ryder ($6,400 DraftKings | $7,400 FanDuel)
There are no “safe” options at Torrey Pines in this price range, but Ryder is intriguing. He’s made his first two cuts of the year and should be able to make noise at the, generally easier, North Course. He can lean on his good vibes from this event last year, where he gained nearly eight strokes from tee to green and finished T-10.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Harry Higgs ($6,700 DraftKings |$8,100 FanDuel)
Fan favorite Harry Higgs has really struggled with his game lately. He’s missed seven of his past 15 cuts, and the advanced metrics don’t indicate a turnaround anytime soon. The glaring concern is his approach play. He’s lost strokes on approach in eight of his past 10 measured events, and the short game hasn’t saved him. This could be a tough place to get right.
Pick To Win: Joseph Bramlett ($6,700 DraftKings | $7,900 FanDuel)
Bramlett is off to a roaring start in 2022, finishing T-20 at the Sony Open and T33 at the American Express. In both events, he’s gained strokes off the tee and on approach. He’s a bomber with the driver, and he had a taste of contention last week before fading in his final two rounds. He’ll grow from that experience.
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Rick Gehman, founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.