One of the things that Billy Horschel credited to some of his success last year was playing a couple of rounds of golf with Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines. Because of the fog delay at The Farmers Insurance Open last January, the first-time winner was able to play three rounds with the world’s number one golfer, and was inspired on to his best year on the PGA Tour, picking up his first win at the Zurich Classic back in April.
Tiger Woods Jordan Spieth Jimmy Walker
It’s a new year, and as Tiger Woods returns to work this week at Torrey Pines, has been paired with some new faces to mentor as the action gets underway on Thursday at The Farmers Insurance Open. Tiger will be playing alongside Jordan Spieth, and two-time winner in 2014, Jimmy Walker as he begins the defense of his first 2013 win.
Although Tiger picked up his eighth win at Torrey Pines last year, and his seventh at the Farmers, Jordan Spieth was playing in his first PGA event as a professional. The 19 year-old missed the cut in LaJolla, but went on to have a pretty good season where he picked up his first win at the John Deere Classic, made well over $ 3 Million Dollars, and was named PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
Jimmy Walker has two victories this year already, with book-end wins at the Frys.com, and the Sony Open in Hawaii. The 35 year-old, who lives in San Antonio, has a 300 point lead on the field in the Fed Ex Cup standings, and is off to the best season of his career. Walker finished T4 at the Farmers in 2013.
Brandt Snedeker Keegan Bradley Hunter Mahan
Brandt Snedeker has never returned to the level at which he was playing in 2013 since his rib injuries. He finished in second place here last year, and went on to a second at Phoenix before winning at Pebble Beach. The 2012 FedEx Cup Champion backed into a win at the Canadian Open since the injury, but has never been the same player.
Snedeker has not gotten off to a hot start in 2014. He picked up a 58th place tie in the desert last week, and a tie for 11th at Kapalua. He won here in 2012, and maybe this is the week he gets his game turned around and back on the winning track.
Keegan Bradley is a mystery. After vaulting into the spotlight with his win at the PGA Championship back in 2011, he was able to win the WGC-Bridgestone in 2012, but seemed to fizzle out in 2013. Bradley has the game to compete here every week, but just doesn’t. Keegan has a couple of top 25’s at Torrey Pines, but missed the cut here in 2013.
Hunter Mahan hasn’t played in a while, and will be making his 2014 debut at the Farmers. He had the lead at the Canadian Open last year when he left the golf course to attend the birth of his daughter. This will be a chance for a first look at the new season.
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