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PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Farmers Insurance Open (2022)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
Jan 25, 2022
Daniel Berger

Golf fans rejoice at the PGA Tour’s return to Torrey Pines Golf Club for the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open this week. The South and North courses will test the endurance and adaptability of each player, as each differs drastically from the other. The final two days will return to the South Course, where Patrick Reed won last season. Jon Rahm also earned a dramatic victory here during the 2021 U.S. Open.  It’s a unique twist due to the tournament beginning on Wednesday instead of Thursday, so be sure to set and submit your DFS lineups a day ahead of schedule.

The PGA Tour stays in southern California but will trade away the dusty desert hills of the Coachella Valley for the incredible coastal beaches of the Pacific Ocean in scenic San Diego. While the courses are beautiful, they are challenging, with lengthy, thin fairways and Poa annua greens forcing even the best putters to second-guess their stroke angle and velocity. As a result, generating under-par finishes will be far less common at Torrey Pines, particularly on the South Course, where there is double the number of sand bunkers and the tricky Poa annua greens that drastically differ Bentgrass greens found on the North Course.

With all of this in mind, I’ve gathered six players that will return positive value and produce enough birdies to launch your lineups into the green by the end of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Club.

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Previous Winners

  • 2021 – Patrick Reed (-14)
  • 2020 – Marc Leishman (-15)
  • 2019 – Justin Rose (-21)
  • 2018 – Jason Day (-10)
  • 2017 – Jon Rahm (-13)

Course Overview

Torrey Pines is one of the Tour’s lengthiest courses to manage as a competitor at the Farmers Insurance Open. It’s notorious for the deep primary Kikuyu rough, while numerous sand bunkers flank the greens to challenge approach shots. Putting is a different challenge, as the Poa annua greens differ tremendously from the typical Bentgrass greens that fill the majority of official PGA Tour courses.

The South and North Courses at Torrey Pines Golf Club make each player lean into a different skill set to succeed. The North Course is only competed on during the second round but offers 7,258 yards on a stock Par 72, nearly six hundred yards shorter than the South Course. Fewer sand bunkers and, most notably, the Bentgrass greens offer refuge for weary players who struggle to overcome the narrow fairways and four-inch Kikuyu rough. For those players who manage to navigate the cut line after performing well at the North Course, it’s another two rounds of the South Course that stand between them and the winning purse. There are hardly any water hazards, but the directional wind shifts and visual backdrops could result in errant, hazardous penalty shots. Bogey avoidance, strokes gained off the tee and around the green, and putting will all need to be conquered to be declared a winner at Torrey Pines.

Relevant Betting Stats

  • Driving Distance
  • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
  • Strokes Gained: Around the Green
  • Sand save percentage
  • Greens in Regulation percentage

Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Daniel Berger ($10,000)
28-year old American Daniel Berger enters the Farmers Insurance Open with the fifth-highest odds to win at +2000. This can be attributed to his strong T7 (-1) finish at the 2021 U.S. Open last summer. Berger is currently ranked 20th in the Official World Gold Rankings and finished 11th in the FedExCup last season. He has hardly any negatives to his game and is undervalued at a $10,000 salary. Improve your lineups by plugging Berger in and watching him climb atop the leaderboards throughout the four days at Torrey Pines.

Tony Finau ($9,100)
Tony Finau had massive success at the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open, earning a T2 (-9) finish by overcoming a brutal two-over-par third round on the South Course. The 32-year old American returns without a top-ten finish under his belt through five official solo events this season. Don’t let his lukewarm start to the 2022 season discourage you from rostering Finau. He is familiar with the courses and is incredible in strokes gained off the tee and approaching the green, which are necessary skills to possess at Torrey Pines. Finau is also precise with his irons, converting over 73 percent of greens in regulation. At just over $9,000, Finau is an incredible value and offers a massive floor in a tournament that is anything but consistent. Please take advantage of his salary and prior success, as he earned a T6 finish back in 2020 and a T13 finish in 2019. Finau steadily dominates the field at Torrey Pines, making him a quality asset in your DFS lineups.

Will Zalatoris ($9,200)
Will Zalatoris burst onto the scene with his performance at the Masters last year, but he has quietly strung together a series of impressive finishes to start the 2022 PGA season. The 25-year old American has missed two cuts and did earn a T54 finish, but he has four top 15 finishes in all other events. Zalatoris is 36th in the Official World Golf Rankings and ranks inside the top ten in both strokes gained off the tee and strokes gained approaching the green. In addition, he can crush the driver, averaging 312 yards per attempt while converting his greens in regulation at a robotic rate of 75.8 percent. He averages 4.4 birdies per round and had success during the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open, earning a T7 finish (-8) despite inconsistent play throughout. This time around, Zalatoris has more experience and enters with extreme confidence after finishing T6 at 19-under-par during The American Express. At $9,200, Zalatoris is a must-add prospect into DFS lineups due to a dual high-floor, high-ceiling outlook.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000

Jon Rahm ($12,200)
This was an inevitable recommendation to make. 27-year old Spaniard Jon Rahm is currently ranked first in Official World Golf Rankings and earned two top-seven finishes at Torrey Pines last year, including a comeback win at the U.S. Open. Rahm is accurate and robust with his driver while achieving balance with a top-ten green in regulation percentage. Not satisfied based on his extremely high salary? Rahm is averaging 5.6 birdies per round, fifth on Tour this season while being a master at putting. He has a distinctive touch with his irons despite possessing the power to obliterate drives, which is an awe-inducing spectacle. Rahm is just getting into a rhythm after participating in tournaments during two of the previous three weekends, earning a second-place finish and a T14 at The American Express most recently. Torrey Pines brings out his best, as Rahm earned a second-place finish during the 2020 Famers Insurance Open and a T5 finish back in 2019. He’s a lock for a top-ten

Marc Leishman ($10,500)
The past three years at Torrey Pines have been kind to Marc Leishman. The 38-year old Aussie won the Farmers Insurance Open back in 2020 and followed it up with a T18 (-5) finish last year. This season, Leishman has been one of the most consistent blue-chip prospects, falling outside the top 20 only twice in six official events. A T36 finish at the Sony Open in Hawaii should have Leishman motivated to ascend the leaderboard early at Torrey Pines this weekend. He’s currently ranked 34th in the Official World Golf Rankings and 21st in the FedExCup rankings. Leishman averages 5.2 birdies per round and has a powerful driver while also hardly showing a blemish in any strokes gained categories. He’s an excellent value to win outright at +3300 odds, but the consistent amount of birdies and his accurate irons ensure Leishman will only improve your DFS lineups.

Jason Day ($9,300)
One of the players with massive success in past years at Torrey Pines is surprisingly Jason Day. The 34-year old Aussie has not been playing his best brand of golf to start this season, but he has finishes of first, T5, and T16 at this tournament stretching from 2018 thru 2020. Day did miss the cut last season but has plenty of success to tap into from previous outings. He is cheap for a reason, but he does possess high sand save percentage, which will come into play upon any errant drives or approach shots into the Kikuyu rough. Day does need to improve his irons, but the amount of sustained success he has at Torrey Pines during a prior three-year stretch. Jason Day is your guy if you need a salary saver who can make the cut and create some noise in the final two rounds. There are plenty of others to choose from, but Day is an intriguing option worth a flier.

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Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to a more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup  — to learn more.

Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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