Photo Keith Allison
Photo Kevin Murray
Photo Brian J. McDermott
Photo Kevin Murray
Brendon De Jonge
Photo Kevin Murray
The South course at Torrey Pines was designed by William F Bell and opened for play in 1957. Rees Jones was commissioned to undertake a redesign in 2001 so the course would be ready for the 2008 US Open Championship. Who could forget that dramatic Championship which ended with Tiger Woods beating Rocco Mediate on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff (after an 18 hole play off) all with a fractured bone in one leg.
Tiger Woods wont be playing this week as he is in the UAE teeing it up at the HSBC Golf Championship. The course offers some dramatic coastline views and when played to its full length of 7,643 yards is the longest course played on the PGA Tour.
Torrey Pines sits on the coastal cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla south of Torrey Pines State Reserve. Tight fairways, lush rough, pine trees, strategic bunkering and deep ravines are just some of the challenges ahead. Throw in the changing weather conditions, when fog, wind and rain come into play they can often sweep in on this seaside layout, you have a course that offers even the best golfers in the world a tough examination of their skills, both physically and mentally. Saying that I have shot a 57 on this course, but then that was on my PSP!!
The complex takes its name from the indigenous Torrey Pine, which is native to the area, the course is maintained by the City of San Diego and is open to the public and has enjoyed numerous awards, included amongst them is Golf Magazine's "Top 500 Holes in the World", 2000 (Par 4, 12th Hole) and Golf Digest Magazine's "America's 100 Greatest Public Access Golf Courses", 2005-2006.
My picks to win are:
This is the first tournament of the year for Hunter Mahan 20/1 who finished last season well, with four Top 10 finishes from his final five tournaments, he also won four points from a possible five in the Presidents cup.
I did tip Brandt Snedeker 20/1 to do well last week at the Humana Challenge. He did make the Top 10 but went backwards on the last day shooting a 71, but with three other rounds in the 60s including his opening round 64 it shows that the lad from Nashville is not far away.
Ben Crane 25/1 has started the season well finishing in the Top 10 in both tournaments his played in, he only made four Top 10 finishes all season last year and it looks like Ben could be one of this seasons most improved players.
My each way bets are:
This is Gary Woodland’s 40/1 second tournament of the year, coming twenty-fourth in a field of twenty-nine players at the Tournament of Champions. Hopefully he was just knocking off the cobwebs and gets back to the form that see him finish in the Top 25 ten times out of the eleven tournaments played. Five of those he finished in the Top 10 winning the OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup along the way.
Another tip from last week was Brendan De Jonge 66/1 who fired two great rounds opening with a 65 and closing with a 64 but the two middle rounds let him down, unlike the week before when he shot a 62 on the Friday. The Zimbabwean is in good form, hopefully he strings four good rounds together this week.
Robert Garrigus 66/1 are great odds for someone who came second in last weeks Humana Challenge, but for an opening round of 73 he could have won it, his third round 61 contained eleven birdies and no bogeys. Robert is a golfer who can miss the cut one-week, like at the St. Jude Classic last season then take third place in one of the toughest tests of golf all season in the US Open at Congressional CC
As always good luck