It is the first tournament of the PGA tour.
So it’s not actually the first tournament of the year, but it has the feel. Players from all over the world have entered the Torrey Pines tournament, and the players are not working on their back swing. No, players like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker want to win this tournament. We still have a little while until all of the great players get their eyes set on the same course, but this is the first big tournament of the year.
Speaking of Tiger, no one has been as big of force at Torry Pines than he has in his career. The man just owns the place, and is very likely to have a great tournament this weekend. Last weekend at Abu Dhabi, he played well. Though he did miss a cut after a tough penalty, he looked very good when it came to his short game and putting. Woods did not seem to concerned about getting the cut, I believe it was because he got what he wanted out of the weekend. If Woods is able to drive the ball like he usually can from the Pines tee boxes, I expect he will have a very solid weekend.
Watson is playing his first tournament of the year. The Masters winner is not one that will take the weekend to wean himself into things. Look for Watson to go all out this, and feel very disappointed himself if he is not in the top ten at weekends end.
I think Phil Mickelson would be a great player to watch this weekend. He has been in a middle of a political controversy this week after he let his feelings known that he did not like paying high taxes. It is very much the opposite spot that Mickelson is used to. He is usually beloved and rooted for. Instead, he fell into the divide of the country. A good tournament form Mickelson and everything is forgotten.
Finally, I don’t think it would be a smart decision to fall asleep on Keegan Bradly. He has already made $400,000 this year and finished fourth last weekend. It is very possible for him to continue the trend this weekend, and maybe even compete for a championship.
If I could have three players to choose a winner from, I would take Tiger Woods, Keegan Bradly and Rickie Fowler.
A fast fact from PGA.com, Fowler has never played Torry Pines and finished higher than 20th. That is pretty awesome.
The Farmers Insurance Open should be a heck of a tournament. This weekend the PGA will steal attention from the European Tour (that has been hogging it all this year). There are a lot of story lines and excitement to make it wroth the follow.