Farmers Insurance Open – Fantasy Golfanac

Course Details

Torrey Pines (North and South) in La Jolla, California

Torrey Pines GC (South)
7,698 yards – Par 72 – Poa annua Greens – Three Rounds Played

Average Green Size: 5,800 square feet… Small Greens
Tournament Stimpmeter: 12 to 12.6 ft… Faster Greens

Difficulty (Relative-to-Par): +1.16 … Hard Course
Fairways Hit: 50.6% … Difficult Fairways to Hit
Greens in Regulation: 66% … Average GIR
Driving Distance: 283.9 yards … Average Driving Distance

Course Architect: William P. Bell (1957); Rees Jones (2001)

Torrey Pines GC (North) –> Renovated after 2016 Edition
7,258 yards – Par 72 – Bentgrass Greens – One Round Played

Average Green Size: 6,400 square feet… Smaller Greens
Tournament Stimpmeter: New greens expected to be similar to South Course speed.
Difficulty (Relative-to-Par): Easier than South but renovated course expected to be tougher than year’s past.
Course Architect: William P. Bell (1957); Tom Weiskopf (2016)

Tournament Angles

#1 Par 72 Courses
#2 Hard Fairways
#3 Driver-Heavy Courses
#4 Poa Annua Greens
#5 California Courses
#6 Coastal Courses
#7 Long Courses

Previous Winners

2017: Jon Rahm -13 over Charles Howell III, C.T. Pan -10
2016: Brandt Snedeker -6 over K.J. Choi -5
2015: Jason Day -9 over Harris English, J.B. Holmes, and Scott Stallings in a playoff
2014: Scott Stallings -9 over KJ Choi, Jason Day, Graham DeLaet, Pat Perez, Marc Leishman -8
2013: Tiger Woods -14 over Brandt Snedeker, Josh Teater -10
2012: Brandt Snedeker -16 over Kyle Stanley in a playoff
2011: Bubba Watson -16 over Phil Mickelson -15
2010: Ben Crane -13 over Marc Leishman, Brandt Snedeker, Michael Sim -12

54-Hole Leaders

2017: Patrick Rodgers, Brandt Snedeker (-9)
2016: Scott Brown, K.J. Choi (-9)
2015: Harris English (-9)
2014: Gary Woodland (-8)
2013: Tiger Woods (-10)
2012: Kyle Stanley (-18)
2011: Phil Mickelson, Bill Haas (-12)
2010: Ryuji Imada (-13)

36-Hole Leaders

2017: Justin Rose (-8)
2016: K.J. Choi, Gary Woodland (-9)
2015: Harris English (-10)
2014: Jordan Spieth (-10)
2013: Tiger Woods (-11)
2012: Kyle Stanley (-14)
2011: Bill Haas (-11)
2010: D.A. Points, Ryuji Imada (-11)

Important Interview Quotes

Geoff Ogilvy: If we played firm strategic courses more often, we would practice to get better at that test. But if you keep presenting Torrey Pines South, for example, where the farther you hit it the bigger advantage you have, we’re just going to go home, plug in the Trackman and hit it as hard as we can. -2017

Q. You mentioned this is your fifth major, but you keep putting yourself in contention the last few years. I mean, I know (inaudible) you’re going to want it just as bad?
Yeah, every year I play it’s going to be the same thing, it’s not going to change. You know, maybe one day. A lot of things got to go right for you to win here, you’ve got to make a lot of putts on some greens that get bumpy at times. You’ve got to hit some good shots and I just didn’t do enough of either to be honest with you. -2017

Q. Why do you feel like you’ve had success at the South Course, especially how tough a course it is?
I mean, I love that golf course. It’s one of my favorites in the world. I spoke about it before, it’s in my top-5 in the world. I guess when you enjoy playing a course, it’s easy to play well. Well, not easy to play well, have more chance at playing well. It’s the same grass as I grew up on. I grew up on poa greens and kikuyu fairways so that’s probably got something to do with it. Along the ocean, it’s a great spot, enjoy the views and hopefully enjoy a lot of birdies tomorrow. -2017

Q. You obviously didn’t struggle because you got it going there at the finish. The greens, do you like them?
They’re phenomenal. They’re rolling incredible and it’s very odd to see bentgrass in southern California, right, not a blade of poa on it [referring to the North Course]. They’re rolling phenomenal. It’s just different than what we’re used to seeing here and a lot of the breaks and contours are different. Takes a little bit of adjusting to. -2017

Q. What are your impressions of the North Course?
The golf course is great. Obviously the greens are brand new. They’re bentgrass, perfect greens. Hopefully they can keep it like that and hopefully the poa stays out. But the golf course, they did a great job, opened it up, used it great. It’s in great shape, it’s just soft. -2017

Q. You hit it so far, is it a driver golf course, or looking back do you think you should have dialed it back off the tee?
No, I think it is. Like I said, I only hit two fairways but I was able to get it up far enough where I was having wedges into the greens, so I was hitting most of the greens. I’d like to play from the fairway and attack the pins, but I was able to get it up far enough where I could hit the green. -2017

Q. So you can be happy with how you played?
Oh, absolutely. This is a long course, it doesn’t really favor me. So with this, you know, tie for second place, this is really — as rookie, I’m not going to complain. That’s good. Obviously I want to win out here, so got more work to do for sure. -2017

Q. It’s a no-brainer what you need to do tomorrow, especially on the North Course which is a little bit more gettable?
Yeah, I mean, those guys on the North Course definitely have better greens over there. With the greens kind of being brand new, they should be rolling a lot more true out on that side, especially with I think having 007 bent. Out here on the poa annua, when it grows in the afternoon and guys have been walking over it with soft conditions like this, it makes it a lot tougher to hole putts. -2017

Q. Where does your experience come into play as much as you’ve played this place?
Just the wind more than anything because the wind always blows the same off the ocean. I’ve hit thousands of balls out there with that wind, so I’ve always hit the same shots and it doesn’t really vary for me, but I just kind of know what I’m getting on every hole. -2017

Q. Brandt, as someone who’s been a great putter since birth, do you feel you have a bigger advantage on pristine greens or less-than-great greens?
I love poa annua so I think I have an advantage on poa annua because, for whatever reason, I’ve always putted really well out here. I have a patience level to be able to do it. I’ve always putted really well on bent. For whatever reason I’ve struggled on bermuda a little bit. I have a tough time reading grain even though I grew up on bermuda greens, too those have kind of been my weak links, I guess. I struggled in Hawaii this year. I seem to struggle there every year putting for whatever reason. But I think poa is my favorite surface to be on. To love poa, you’ve got to love days like today where you hit good putts and they don’t go in and that’s just part of it. -2017

Q. Why are you driving it so well?
For me it’s kind of always been a staple of my game. I feel like it’s what got me out here. I feel like I’ve always been a pretty good driver of the ball. I feel like can compete with some of the elite drivers in the world and I’ve got a driver in my bag that I’m really comfortable with. Callaway’s new Epic is really nice. It’s going a long ways and it’s a huge advantage out here. Obviously this golf course is good for me hitting it high and far even if I’m driving it in the rough, but especially if I can get it down there in the fairways, there’s a lot of chances to score, which is good. -2017

Q. And then you’re currently one back heading into tomorrow. Your thoughts, do you like your chances on the South Course on Sunday?
I think when you hit it with some length, it’s a golf course that you can take advantage of, for sure. Length is I think a big part of playing out here, but so many components go into winning a golf tournament. I’ll enjoy this round tonight and look forward to tomorrow. -2017

Q. Sometimes we call this four weeks of poa annua greens. As a So Cal guy, are you comfortable with that?
Yeah, definitely, I grew up on this kind of surface, so for me it’s really comfortable. The greens got a lot better between yesterday and today on the North Course at least. So that was really nice to see. -2016

Q. The only blemish on 7. Three birdies and an eagle.
Yeah, the eagle was pretty good. So just playing solid. Just didn’t play well last week, so this course sets up pretty well for me. You get to hit a lot of drivers and I’m pretty excited for the opportunity obviously going to the South Course tomorrow. -2016

Q. What’s the most important part of your game to have around this South Course?
You have to drive it in the fairway around here. The rough this year, it’s always pretty thick, this year it seems a little juicier than the last few years. If you’re not in the fairway, you got no chance. -2016

Q. How important is it to get off, when you play the North Course first, how important is it to get a good round out there?
It is. You definitely think about it a little bit, because you know the South Course is a big boy golf course. But the South Course is one of my favorite golf courses we play all year. Most holes go left-to-right, so I’m excited about playing well today and excited about the weekend. -2016

Q. Is that because you have a fade?
Yeah, I like to hit the driver left-to-right. And the holes really that go right-to-left are the short holes that allow me to hit iron off the tee. So it’s a golf course that suits me very well off the tee box, it gives me a chance to be aggressive. -2016

Q. How does this rough compare to Regular Tour events?
This is as thick as we see. Since we changed the grooves a couple years ago, the rough’s been pretty cut down most weeks. There are the occasional week, Memorial is usually up. This is another week that usually, especially with the weather that’s been out here, it’s been cool, rainy, we expected it to be thick. I think they may even have cut it down because earlier in the week you were losing golf balls out there. -2016

Q. Interesting you having said that, because like people talking to Dustin after the round today, guys like you and Dustin, who bomb it, there’s this assumption that Torrey Pines is just made for you guys. But there’s a lot more to it than length, right?
Yeah, you got to drive the ball in the fairway. The greens are very firm, the rough is definitely thick and up. If you miss fairways you’re going to give your self a tough chance to make par. So, it’s nice to have the length, because I’m able to hit irons into some of these par-5s that guys aren’t getting home to. That gives a huge advantage. I’m able to hit iron off some of these shorter holes. Which gives me a chance to get the ball in the fairway a lot easier than a lot of guys. -2016

Q. You said that this is one of your favorite courses you play all year on TOUR, and you finished in the top-10 last year. What is it about the South Course that you love so much?
First of all, the views are hard to beat anywhere. If you can’t be having fun out there looking around then I don’t know where you can.

But I think it’s all aspects of your game. You have got to be sharp around here, you got to drive the ball well, and you have to do everything well. I don’t know, it just kind of sets up for my eye. There’s a lot of tee shots I like the look of. Some weeks it’s the opposite and this week it happens to be its case for me. -2016

Q. Why do you think you putt well on poa annua?
I don’t know. I think you just — it’s all about just trusting what you’re doing and there’s nothing you can do. The only thing you can do is make your stroke. You can’t — you cannot worry about, is it going to bounce off line. Because, yeah, it’s probably going to bounce. And you don’t watch it. Keep your head down and make your stroke and don’t watch. And it gets a lot of people, it really does. I just, always just try to make the best stroke possible. -2016

Q. How many times have you played out here would you say?
A lot. I was telling guys that I think it was Monday through Thursday after 1 o’clock it was like 10.50 a month. And I wasn’t a member at a private club or anything, so I got out here pretty often. -216

Q. Have you got to play the course today and which course did you play and what’s your impressions on it?
Yeah, I played the South Course this morning. Played the first seven holes in the fog. Surprised at how many fairways I actually hit when you could only see 50 yards in front of you. But I guess a good strategy is to hit over the middle of the tee box in front of you. I might use that in the future. The course is in really good shape. Greens are going to be nice and firm come the weekend, which I think is going to require a lot of strategy and course management and not missing the wrong side of some of these pins. The rough’s pretty thick, too, so I think it’s really, really good test of golf. -2015

Q. What were the challenges on the South Course?
I think the length is a challenge and the firmness of the greens is a challenge. I think that patience is going to be a big challenge, because when you tuck the pins here, every green repels from the outside to the center. So, every ball’s working to the center of the green and it’s very difficult to get it close to a lot of the tough pins. So, you have to be patient. You have to accept 30, 40 footers, that you just can’t knock it too close, and you have to make some putts. I think that patience will be the key. -2015

Q. We would like to welcome Rickie Fowler to the interview room. Ricky is fairly local, just north of here, grew up in Murrieta, California. This is his third start of the season. He has two top-10s in five starts at the Farmers Insurance Open. Talk a little bit about the golf course, please, and the week.
The golf course, Torrey South is one of my favorite courses we play all year. Great memories here. I’ve played actually some junior tournaments on the North Course and I remember winning there, so great memories there as well. Being local, it’s fun for me to have friends and family out and then obviously my partnership with Farmers, it makes it a very special week for me. -2015

Q. Do you like these kind of greens of poa annua?
I just feel comfortable here. Simple as that. Going back to junior golf, playing Junior World here, I had success, I almost won here fours four years ago, so good memories coming back to Torrey Pines. I guess I’m two shots back but it was definitely great to post a phenomenal round on the South Course. That makes the North course a little bit easier. It’s good momentum getting that started the way I did and it definitely makes the weekend a little bit easier. -2015

Q. You had one of the better rounds on the South Course this week, a 68 yesterday. What are the things that you have to do well and you have to avoid to have success on the South Course this weekend?
You got to get in the fairway and if you don’t you got to be able to muscle a 6-iron or a 5-iron from about 190 yards on a lot of those holes. The greens are firm down there and each green’s like three or four little greens in itself with the kind of tiering, so you got to be able to hit it high and stop it. That’s one of the reasons I like the golf course. That’s my ball flight, I hit it about as high as anyone and I feel like can I go for a few flags on that golf course that some people maybe can’t. -2015

Q. How would you describe the differences between the North Course and the South course?
The South Course is just a beast. It doesn’t give you any room for error. The greens are a little firmer, a little faster. It’s so easy to hit that errant shot and make a bogey or get in the rough and now you can’t get it to the green. Yesterday I made some really good par saves. I chipped in for par on my second hole, I made some really good 6- and 8-footers for par. And that’s what you got to do. You’re not going to hit it perfect. But playing the South Course with no bogeys is really hard. -2015

Q. You got a pretty big cheer. You’re a California guy. In the past you’ve done well here. Good vibes from start to finish being in San Diego?
NICK WATNEY: Definitely, yeah. I love it here. This is one of my favorite spots that we play. It’s always nice to come out to somewhere that you’ve won. -2015

Q. What is it about this golf course that you like so much?
I don’t know. I played good here my rookie year, and I’ve loved coming back. The weather is always fantastic. The golf course is great. I really love the greens. The greens were in great shape this week. They get a little bumpy, which I enjoy. Makes you focus in on your line. You get the ball on a good line.
I just love being here. It’s amazing how much more relaxed you are when you like being somewhere. -2015

Q. Talk to me again about the crowd and what’s it like playing near home?
Well, I definitely have a lot of great fans and supporters, especially here in Southern California. Lot of friends and family come out as well. It’s fun for me. I get to see some people I don’t get to see all the time and play in front of people that are here to support me. So definitely makes it for a fun week. -2015

All quotes from unless otherwise noted.

Tournament Notes

2017: Lift, clean, and place for the first two rounds.

2016: Due to inclement weather Sunday, play was suspended from 8:46 a.m. until 10 a.m. Play was suspended for a second
time at 10:39 a.m., while a brief line of showers passed through. Players were held in nearby vans. Play resumed at 11
a.m. Play was again suspended at 1:57 p.m., before ultimately being called for the day. The scheduled restart time of 8
a.m. Monday was pushed back until 10 a.m., as crews continued to remove debris from the course.

Sunday saw extreme winds, leading to a field average of 77.9 on day four, more than four shots higher than Saturday’s 73.2 scoring average at Torrey Pines South.

After the 2016 edition, the North Course underwent a complete overhaul. Poa greens were replaced with full bentgrass and increased in size in the process. Bunkers were strategically reconfigured, as well.

North Course Renovation Info:
–> Golf Digest


–> NBC San Diego

–> Golf Course Architecture

–> San Diego Tribune

This article has 11 comments

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  2. Josh, the numbers for the stadium course (% of fairways hit, driving distance, etc.), are those from last year’s tournament?

    • The numbers are typically since 2010 but in the case of the Stadium Course it would have just been last year. I will have to double check when I get back to my PC later tonight.

      • Hahah, no worries.

        The numbers listed are since 2010. The South Course has been categorized as “Hard Fairways” all six years. It’s been “Easy-to-Hit Greens” in 2-of-6. Classified as a “Hard Course” in 4-of-6. Also 4-of-6 in terms of driving distance (Driver Heavy).

        Pretty similar most years, but obviously yearly conditions can change slightly and modify how the course plays as a whole.

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