2022 Farmers Insurance Open Betting Preview: Making Cases for Molinari, Leishman, and Zalatoris

2022 Farmers Insurance Open Betting Preview

The PGA TOUR makes its way back to beautiful Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California, for the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open. We are dealing with a (smartly planned) modified schedule for the event this year, as the tournament will begin Wednesday and end Saturday to avoid overlap with the NFL’s conference championship weekend.

Tourney / Course Overview

Players will alternate a Thursday-Friday schedule between the North (bentgrass greens) and South (poa greens) courses. Those making the cut will play both weekend rounds on the more difficult South course, which tips out more than 300 yards longer than the North course. 

This 156-man field will feature less than its usual amount of star power as it coincides with the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic. However, we still have defending Torrey Pines U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, and Brooks Koepka, among many others teeing it up here.

Distance will matter off the tee here as the South Course is one of the longest on Tour, and you want to target those who are dialed in with their long irons as the largest bucket of approach shots come from over 200 yards. Last year Patrick Reed overcame a highly debated rules infraction to secure a five-stroke victory over a group of five players, including Xander Schauffele, Viktor Hovland, and Tony Finau.

The Picks

As much as it pains me to buy high on the odds of a man who is only beginning to regain his form here we are. When coupled with his recent history at Torrey Pines, Francesco Molinari (+7500) cannot be ignored this week. Molinari finished T6th last week at the American Express. The recent California native posted impressive results of T10th and T13th in his two starts on this course last year at the Farmers and the U.S. Open. A poa green wizard, Molinari figures well here, and I will back both his Top 10 and Outright prices.

A former winner of this tournament in 2020, Marc Leishman (+3400) is another good candidate for a Top 10 and Outright bet. The owner of three Top 10 finishes already this season, Leishman ranks 12th on TOUR in overall putting and 8th in Strokes Gained: Total. By no means a short hitter, the big Australian should be able to take advantage of the par 5’s over the four rounds with his 3rd ranked in the field Birdie-or-Better average on those holes.

While it is tough not to have Jon Rahm or Xander Schauffele on the card this week, the shortest odds I am willing to take here are on young Will Zalatoris at 29/1. The 25-year-old NorCal native is still searching for his first PGA TOUR victory, but he has both the course history (7th at last year’s Farmers) and recent form (T-6th last week at the AmEx) going for him as he heads to Torrey Pines. A long, accurate driver of the golf ball who also strikes his irons as good as anyone out there, Zalatoris just needs to get his putter to agree with him to break through and lift a trophy. I am backing that a player of his caliber can get his maiden victory at a signature golf course like Torrey.

All PGA odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook.

My Card 

Francesco Molinari Top 10 (+700)

Francesco Molinari Outright (+7500)

Marc Leishman Top 10 (+300)

Marc Leishman Outright (+3400)

Will Zalatoris Top 5 (+5500)

Will Zalatoris Outright (+2900)

All PGA predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid.
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