Betting Analysis

Farmers Insurance Open picks 2024: There's only one thing missing from Keegan Bradley's Torrey Pines resume

January 23, 2024
HONOLULU, HAWAII - JANUARY 14: Keegan Bradley of the United States takes a shot on the 18th green during the first playoff hole against Grayson Murray of the United States and Byeong Hun An of South Korea of the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club on January 14, 2024 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

 The longshots are running wild in 2024, with amateur Nick Dunlap being the latest mega bomb to to win on the PGA Tour. Enter Torrey Pines, a venue known for producing elite winners and elite leader boards time and time again.

That should, in theory, make picking this week's winner a heck of a lot easier than picking the winner the last three weeks on tour. Much like a major, it feels like there's a crop of only 25-to-30 guys who can win this week. It's time we finally figure out who that's going to be in 2024.

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Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2024 Farmers Insurance Open. 

Farmers Insurance Open picks 2024: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions

Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Min Woo Lee (25-1, Bet365) — Torrey Pines is wet this week, and Min Woo absolutely moves it off the tee. The driver is a weapon for him at Torrey Pines, and though first-timers haven’t traditionally been great, I like that he had a good finish in the desert this week. This kid’s talented enough to win a few times over here this year.

Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Keegan Bradley (30-1, DraftKings) — Through two events in 2024, he’s gaining an average of 3.75 strokes on approach while producing classic Keegan putting splits: Lost 5.8 strokes at The Sentry; Gained 4.6 at the Sony. The Farmers is the event Keegan’s experienced the most success in his career without a victory. With three top fives in his past six starts—finishing top 15 in ball-striking in each of those starts—one hot putting week and he can improve on his solo second from a year ago.

Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Xander Schauffele (+900, FanDuel) — Schauffele’s slow start at Torrey Pines in his career is in the rearview mirror, and he is playing some of his best golf right now even though the wins aren’t there. Schauffele sets up very well this week yet again.

Keith Stewart, Read The Line: Sahith Theegala (33-1, FanDuel) — PGA Tour players love playing in their home state. Sahith Theegala has finished first, sixth and fourth in his last three starts in California. The fourth-place finish was last year at Torrey Pines. Twelve professional starts at home, 12 cuts made. I spend a ton of time out on tour. The two guys who close down the range all the time are Alex Noren and Theegala. The guy puts the work in, and it shows. A great putter, sneaky-good long-iron player and recently a runner-up at The Sentry, Sahith has all the confidence he needs to get another win at home.

Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Keegan Bradley (30-1, DraftKings) — Keegan's game is exactly what you want at Torrey Pines: He’s long and straight off the tee, he can launch his long irons and gain strokes on approach, and he raises his baseline on Poa greens. Keegan was runner-up here last year, and he was runner-up at the Sony Open. The number and his skillset make this an auto-bet for me.

Christopher Powers, Golf Digest staff writer: Sungjae Im (22-1, DraftKings) — As I mentioned on this week’s episode of The Loop podcast, this will be my “The Last Dance” with SungBae. Not because I don’t still love him or that I don’t think he’ll win in 2024, but because I’ve wasted far too much money on him over the last handful of years and at some point, enough is enough. It’s time to move on to other people who won’t win. All that said, I do like him a lot this week at these odds. He’s now had six straight top-25 finishes on the PGA Tour (Tour Championship not included) and he’s been an animal tee-to-green throughout that stretch. As for course history, he finished T-4 here last year (I was definitely on him) and T-6 the year before (probably was on him then, too). The time is now. Bring hIM home.

Andy Lack, Run Pure Sports and Inside Golf podcast: Collin Morikawa (11-1, DraftKings) — One of the largest reasons why we’ve seen such longshot winners in the first three events of the season is due to lack of difficulty of the setups. Courses with a higher greens-in-regulation percentages produce more putting variance and place less emphasis on tee-to-green skill. Torrey Pines is a stark departure from that, which is why it's no surprise that six of the past 10 winners have come from prices below 25-1. Collin Morikawa has already experienced a tremendous amount of success at Torrey Pines, and he remains the No. 1 overall iron player in this field. Motivated as ever after a down 2023, I expect Morikawa to kick his season off with a bang.

Past results: As successful as last season was for this panel, it’s time to turn the page to 2024, when we plan on cashing just as many, if not more, outright winners. We’re also pleased to welcome our newest expert picker, Keith Stewart of Read The Line, to the panel. Keith replaces the great Rick Gehman, who we’ll miss dearly. Good luck to all. Let’s have a year.

Farmers Insurance Open picks 2024: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win

Caddie: Ryo Hisatsune (125-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — The kid has the potential to be another superstar from Japan, and you can be early on him. In his past 10 events, he hasn’t finished outside the top 30 once—and that includes a T-6 at the Zozo Championship, T-11 at the AMEX and T-30 at the Sony. Keep an eye on him throughout the year—his putting stroke is a thing of beauty.

Mayo: Sam Ryder (130-1, DraftKings) — It was an uninspiring kickoff to 2024 for Ryder, but he worked out enough kinks to survive the cut at The American Express and shake off the rust. If you recall, Ryder had a pretty large lead in the final round last year; then the CBS broadcast interviewed his parents and his game went in the toilet. Either way, at a venue which rewards experience, Ryder’s posted a T-4 and T-7 in two of the past three years. Plus, of all players in this field, he tops all in SG/approach over the past 24 rounds.

Gdula: Nicolai Hojgaard (45-1, FanDuel) — Hojgaard has the length to go deep at Torrey Pines, and he is following up a great 2023 with a hot start to 2024 even though the putting hasn’t been on point in his two starts this year. With a tough setup this week and generally strong winners, Hojgaard makes sense this week.

Stewart: Adrian Meronk (60-1, BetMGM) — I love looking at various leaderboards. Adrian Meronk just finished 10th and runner-up in his last two DP World Tour starts. He is the prototypical modern player with extreme power and the ability to launch long iron approaches to the moon. Meronk earned his card by finishing fourth on the DP Rolex Rankings last year. The guys who beat him were all on the European Ryder Cup team (McIlroy, Rahm, Hojgaard). That’s my last point, this guy seems very motivated after Luke Donald didn’t pick him in September to represent Europe.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Keith Mitchell (80-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — Cashmere Keith has the formula to pick apart Torrey Pines. You’re likely aware that he had one of the most elite driving seasons of all-time last year, leading the tour in total driving. Where he struggled last year was his approach play—but he gained more than six strokes on approach last week in Palm Springs—his best-ever approach week (per RickRunGood.com)! Lastly, don’t sleep on his California record. In his last four appearances in Cali: fourth at Pebble, fifth at Riv, ninth last week at the Amex and T-20 at the U.S. Open at LACC. It's no surprise the vibes are strong with the cashmere king in the Golden State.

Powers, Golf Digest: Luke List (80-1, FanDuel) — If you ignore the –5.7 SG/putting performance at Sony, he actually hit the ball extremely well, gaining 4.5 strokes tee-to-green. Before that, he piled up six top-25 finishes in seven starts, including a win at the Sanderson Farms. His only other victory came here in 2022, when he was coming in with great form and just needed one solid putting week to finally get it done. It’s clear he loves this event, with three other top-25 finishes to his name. Great price for a former winner who is ball-striking it well. Just need another decent putting week.

Lack: Harris English (50-1, FanDuel) — Harris English might not feel like the prototypical Torrey Pines winner, but for some reason or another he always seems to raise his game on tougher golf courses with thick rough, narrow fairways and challenging greens. English is the only player in this field to finish in the top five at both the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot and the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Coming off back-to-back top-15 finishes in the Aloha swing, English now returns to a comfortable spot for him, playing some of his best golf in months.

Torrey Pines Golf Course: South
Public
Torrey Pines Golf Course: South
La Jolla, CA
Torrey Pines sits on one of the prettiest golf course sites in America, atop coastal bluffs north of San Diego with eye-dazzling views of the Pacific. Rees Jones’ remodeling of the South Course in the early 2000s not only made the course competitive for the 2008 U.S. Open (won by Tiger Woods in a playoff over Rocco Mediate), it also brought several coastal canyons into play for everyday play, especially on the par-3 third and par-4 14th. An annual PGA Tour stop, Torrey Pines received another boost by Jones prior to hosting its second U.S. Open in 2021, this one won by Jon Rahm.
Explore our full review
Torrey Pines Golf Course: North
Public
Torrey Pines Golf Course: North
La Jolla, CA
3.6
131 Panelists
Redesigned by Tom Weiskopf in 2018, Torrey Pines' North course became friendly for the average golfer. The number of bunkers were reduced from 60 to 42 and made easier to play out of. And the average green size was increased from 4,500 square feet to 6,000. Lastly, Weiskopf added one of his signatures: a short, drivable par 4 (the seventh)—making the companion course to the championship South course a little more fun.
Explore our full review

Farmers Insurance Open picks 2024: Players We’re Fading

Caddie: Nicolai Hojgaard (40-1, FanDuel) — I need to see more success from Hojgaard in the U.S. before I believe in his ability to win out there. I know he was close in Puntacana, but this is a different animal.

Mayo: Patrick Cantlay (11-1, DraftKings) — Thirteen of the past 15 winners have claimed a top 10 in this tournament before winning. Cantlay does not qualify with the trend. Can’t do it.

Gdula: Max Homa (12-1, FanDuel) — Homa’s win here last year has his odds a bit inflated, and while I never like to root against him, I’d rather bet Cantlay or Morikawa at similar numbers this week if I had to choose.

Stewart: Tony Finau (22-1, DraftKings) — This is probably a pretty hot take, because Tony Finau has four top 10s in five starts at Torrey Pines. But I still don’t believe in his short game and putter. Finau can finish in the top 20 because he is that good at flushing it, but picking him to win with his recent record feels a little premature. Length and power will get you to the weekend at the Farmers, but without any acumen on and around the greens, you just won’t see him late on Sunday.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Eric Cole (35-1, BetMGM) — This is a rather straightforward one. Cole is best at scoring fests (no comment on his weekend last week). And his weakness is his off-the-tee game. That’ll be a deficency worth targeting in matchups this week at a soggy Torrey Pines.

Powers, Golf Digest: Xander Schauffele (+900, DraftKings) — Based off his recent form and his history at Torrey Pines, he’s earned this price. It’s just too steep for a guy who hasn’t won in well over a calendar year.

Lack: Xander Schauffele (+900, DraftKings) — This is solely price-dependent. Torrey Pines is undeniably a great fit for Xander Schauffele’s skill set, and given his high floor, the San Diego native is always one of the safest bets in the field to finish in the top 10. That being said, I’m not sure how many more winless months us Xander fans must ender before we are given a bettable number. 9-1 is lunacy this week. Just look one spot behind him on the odds board and you will find two players (Max Homa and Collin Morikawa) with much higher win rates and stronger course history.

Farmers Insurance Open picks 2024: Matchups

Caddie: Adrian Meronk (-110) over Nicolai Hojgaard (FanDuel, Round 1 matchup) — Meronk is on an absolute heater, and his long game should translate to success at Torrey Pines. I talked about my fade of Hojgaard above.

Mayo: Patrick Rodgers (+100) over Christiaan Bezuidenhout (DraftKings) — Yes, his bank account may say Bez was the winner a week ago, but he needs to play flawlessly to hang at Torrey. While deadly accurate off the tee, which can play for some at Torrey Pines, the South African is in the bottom 5 percent of the field in distance. He could chip and putt his way out of problems—HE HAS THAT POWER—but that’s asking a lot. Especially opposed to Rodgers who bombs it and can make putts. It’s a spotty history for Rodgers at this event, but he has churned out a pair of top 10s in his career and typically plays better in California.

Gdula: Michael Kim (-110) over Billy Horschel (FanDuel) — Kim holds an edge in strokes-gained over the past 12 months versus Horschel, and Billy has been living and dying by the putter lately.

Stewart: Sahith Theegala (-138) over Will Zalatoris (Bet365) — A venue like Torrey Pines that requires long and accurate driving would normally be an auto Will Zalatoris bet. Since his return from back surgery, however, we have not seen the same amazing ball-striking machine. The biggest comeback hurdle for him has been the driver. Sahith Theegala, meanwhile, just finished runner-up in Hawaii and since winning the Fortinet appears to be a different player. Ultimately, even if they strike it similarly, Sahith’s a much better putter and wins this matchup.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Sepp Straka (+115) over Eric Cole (FanDuel) — Straka’s power and off-the-tee prowess gives him the edge over Cole at Torrey Pines. Cole ranks 158th in SG/off the tee, whereas Straka was in the top 30 in total driving. These are two players I’m very high on in 2024, but Cole’s success will come on shorter, wedge-type courses—not the biggest long-iron fest of the year.

Powers, Golf Digest: Keegan Bradley (-120) over Eric Cole (DraftKings) — As hot as Cole has been it just feels like too much golf course for him. As for Keegan, he owns the place, as Pat and Stevie explained up top.

Lack: Jason Day (-120) over Eric Cole (DraftKings) — No need to overthink this one. Jason Day is a two-time winner of the Farmers Insurance Open, who has finished in the top 10 at this event at a 70 percent clip over his past ten appearances. Eric Cole has never made a cut here, and he struggles mightily with his driver. Don’t be swayed by Cole’s solid Fall swing and results on wedge-heavy, easy courses. Torrey Pines is a step up in class, and it will expose his deficiencies off the tee. This is an easy one.

Matchup Results from the American Express: Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Cole (-110) over Finau); Powers: 1 for 1 (Montgomery (+105) over Bhatia); Mayo: 1 for 1 (Putnam (-110) over Davis); Gdula: PUSH (Schenk (-120) over Horschel); Stewart: 0 for 1; Caddie: 0 for 1; Lack: 0 for 1

Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Hennessey: 3-0-0 (up 2.48 units); Gdula: 2-0-1 (up 1.78 units); Powers: 2-1-0 (up 1.14 units); Mayo: 2-1-0 (up 0.96 units); Stewart: 2-1-0 (up 0.86 units); Caddie: 2-1-0 (up 0.66 units); Lack 1-2-0 (down 1.09 units)

Farmers Insurance Open picks 2024: Top 10s

Caddie: Sahith Theegala (+320, FanDuel) — Being a West Coast guy will be a bigger advantage this week than it normally is at Torrey. With the wet weather, the greens will be soft and bumpy—meaning growing up on Poa greens will be a bigger advantage than it usually is. After that runner-up finish in Maui, then a nice week off, expect Sahith to have another big performance.

Mayo: Min Woo Lee (+230, DraftKings) — I usually bet guys who just need to make a few putts and the win will be theirs. Min Woo is the opposite. You expect him to be tops or near top of the field off the tee. And his short game and putting have been off the charts amazing for the past year. But his iron play can sink him quickly. If he can simply break even with the field on approach and just keep his baseline everywhere else, he’s going to smash this week.

Gdula: Sungjae Im (+240, FanDuel) — Im doesn’t have the distance you’d typically think is required for Torrey Pines’ South Course, yet he has finished top-10 here in two straight years and comes in with good overall form.

Stewart: Jason Day (+300, Bet365) — Jason Day started 2023 with seven straight top-20 finishes (five top 10s). He’s hot again to begin 2024 and has won the Farmers twice in his career. In 14 career Torrey Pines starts, he has five more top 10s to go with those two wins. Between his current form and course history, I love him to contend again in southern California.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Keegan Bradley (+320, Bet365) — Backing up my outright bet with another top-10 bet I love.

Powers, Golf Digest: Sam Ryder (11-1, DraftKings) — Coming in off a 62nd-place finish certainly doesn’t inspire confidence, but whatever happens at The American Express, the birdie-fest of all birdie-fests, has no relevance this week. Give me Ryder and his stellar long-iron game at Torrey Pines every day and twice on Sunday. Memo to CBS, though—please do not interview his mother if he’s in the lead on Sunday again.

Lack: Nick Hardy (11-1, FanDuel) — It may be too early in the season to press, but I’m reeling after Si Woo Kim shot six over on his final three holes to fall out of the top 10 last week at The American Express, which included a comical quadruple bogey on his 71st hole of the tournament. Nick Hardy is a bit of a shot in the dark, but he’s also one of only two players in this field to rank top 20 in driving distance, long-iron proximity and putting from five-to-15 feet. Success in these three categories is a winning formula at Torrey Pines.

Top-10 results from the American Express: Gdula: 1 for 1 (Sam Burns +300); Everybody else: 0 for 1

Top-10 results from this season: Gdula: 2 for 3 (up 7.5 units); Hennessey: 1 for 3 (up 2.5 units); Powers: 1 for 3 (down 0.1 units); Caddie: 0 for 3 (down 3 units); Mayo: 0 for 3 (down 3 units); Stewart: 0 for 3 (down 3 units); Lack: 0 for 3 (down 3 units)

About our experts

Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. Mayo helped create the golf stats and research website Fantasy National along with the Race for the Mayo Cup One and Done contest. Mayo won the 2022 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and is a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2023 (Best Podcast, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 27 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are second-most all-time. Follow him on Twitter: @ThePME. 

Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for numberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @gdula13. 

Keith Stewart is a five-time award-winning PGA professional, a betting contributor for Golf Digest and founder of Read The Line, the premier on-site live golf betting insights service covering the LPGA and PGA TOUR. Subscribe to Read The Line’s weekly newsletter here and raise your golf betting acumen. Keith's winning content can also be found on Sports Grid, Bleacher Report and The Sporting News. Follow him on Twitter @readtheline_.

Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from New York City who now resides in Los Angeles. He hosts Inside Golf, a twice weekly podcast focused on the PGA Tour, betting, daily fantasy, golf course architecture, and interviews, as part of the BlueWire podcast network. As well as contributing to Golf Digest, Andy is also the head of golf content for Run Pure Sports, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for RickRunGood.com, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports