2023 Farmers Open: The quest for first PGA win won’t come easy for Ryder

Sam Ryder, 2023 Farmers Insurance Open,(Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images)
Sam Ryder, 2023 Farmers Insurance Open,(Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images) /

If Sam Ryder is going to earn his first career PGA Tour win on Saturday at the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open, he is going to have to do it the hard way.

Ryder has been atop the leaderboard all week long this week at Torrey Pines, he held a share of the lead after round one and has been alone at the top over the past two days. The 33-year-old will take a two-shot lead into Saturday’s final round as he attempts to hang on for his first win on tour.

Earning that first PGA win is challenging enough under normal circumstances. If Ryder is going to accomplish that feat on Saturday he is going to have to hold off some of the best players in the world who are all ready to pounce should Sam falter.

If he is able to hold his nerve, Ryder will make it back-to-back years that a player has broken through for their first PGA win at the Farmers Insurance Open after Luke List did exactly that at this same time last year.

Who can hunt down Sam Ryder on Saturday at the Farmers Insurance Open?

Who is most likely to chase down Ryder during Saturday’s final round of this year’s Farmers Insurance Open? Here are a few of the big-name contenders in hot pursuit who can take advantage of any slip-ups.

Jon Rahm

The only surprise here is how the Spaniard managed to work his way back into contention after falling to two-over-par toward the end of his opening round on Wednesday.  Seeing, arguably, the best player in the world at the moment in contention yet again heading into the final round is no surprise at all.

Rahm can join elite company this week by winning for a third consecutive time to start a season on the PGA Tour, and he can climb back to world number one in the OWGR with a win on Saturday.

The 2017 Farmers Insurance Open winner sits two shots adrift (-10) of Ryder (-12) heading into Saturday and per Data Golf has the best chance of winning once again when all is said and done at this year’s Farmers.

Tony Finau

Two shots further back (-8) is Tony Finau who got himself right back in the mix after shooting the round of the day, a 64 on Friday.

It would be foolish to write off Finau anytime he is within touching distance of the lead nowadays, especially at a locale where he has had great success previously.

The five-time PGA Tour winner leads the field this week in strokes gained from tee to green and if he can keep that going throughout the final round; Tony could very well be coming away from this week with PGA win number two on the season already. 

The group at -7

It’s highly unlikely that someone comes from further back than this group at -7 and wins on Saturday, in fact, Data Golf puts the chances of that happening at less than 1%.

A two-time major champion, a multiple-time winner on tour who excels in the state of California, and two of the game’s most talented young players make up this chasing pack.

Collin Morikawa, Max Homa, Sungjae Im, and Sahith Theegala enter the final round five shots behind the leader, Sam Ryder.

Much like Finau, Max Homa can earn his second win on tour this season already with a victory on Saturday. Collin Morikawa is looking for his first win in, somewhat surprisingly, more than a year.

Meanwhile, Sungjae Im can win for the third time on tour and the first time since the 2021 Shriners Children’s Open. Theegala can earn his first PGA Tour win on Saturday at the Farmers Insurance Open.

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Sam Ryder finds himself in a great position to win for the first time on tour come Saturday evening, but if he is going to do it he is going to have to do it the hard way because you can be sure that the talented chasing pack won’t be backing down anytime soon.