Turns out it’s really hard to figure out how to spell the sound that JK Simmons and company do in the Farmers Insurance commercials. I’m also realizing that I haven’t seen those commercials in a while, so here’s an example to refresh your memory bank.
Feel free to leave that on repeat while reading this preview. Definitely would add to the experience.
Here’s what to watch for.
Surprisingly Decent Field
Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Phil, Sneds, Bill Haas, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama. Didn’t know Farmers was drawing this big of a field.
For those who’ve been reading my previews for a while, you should know that my favorite thing to do is mention Tiger when in all reality, he has no business being mentioned. But Tiger’s history at this tournament, and his performance at the US Open in 2008 at Torrey Pines, make mentioning him a requirement.
Tiger has won the Farmers Insurance Open 7 times, including 4 in a row from 2005-2008. Throw in a US Open in 2008 as well and he’s won at that place 8 times. Absolutely absurd given the talent on Tour.
It’s an interesting thought trying to figure out why a certain player always performs well at a venue. Layout makes a big difference, not necessarily knowing where to hit it, but also being comfortable with the looks off the tee; it’s tough to force visual comfortableness. Another factor is the grass type. Tiger grew up in Southern California where the kikuyu grass is all over. Knowing how the ball is going to react out of the rough is a big help. Or maybe, he just wanted to please his Buick overlords, considering this event was the Buick Invitational for 6 of his victories.
It’s hard to believe that we’re a quarter of the way through the PGA season already. Actually, well over a quarter of the way since the fall schedule is now part of this season. The 2013-2014 golf season. Odd, it sounds like something off of the Sunshine Tour, but it’s a new reality for PGA members. If you think you’re too good for the fall series and you don’t start off the new-year at least moderately hot, be prepared to have to climb out of a huge hole of FedEx points. But I digress. We are here to discuss the top five players in the world. I’m going to be American biased here, but c’mon, at this point in the season there really haven’t been enough strong international fields to pull attention elsewhere.
1) Patrick Reed
Thanks in large part to Patrick Reed’s press conference after Sunday’s victory at the WGC Cadillac, the golf world is abuzz (moderately) with talk of bravado and false confidence. I haven’t been able to listen to Reed’s presser, I’ve only seen the transcript, but how can anyone fault what he’s saying? Guy has three wins since last August, and his worst finish this year has been a t-24 last week at the Honda before this week’s wire to wire victory.
Currently ranked 20th in the world, Reed has been as consistently good as anyone since his first PGA victory at the Wyndham. Why so low? you might ask. Well, mostly because he is 23 and the world ranking system has a two-year rolling window of counted events. Also partly because Reed has never competed in a major before. Majors have huge purses and allow for players who play well to take largely undeserved jumps in the world rankings while players who haven’t made it are left to play in terrible events (same for WGC events, looking at you Puerto Rico).
2) Jimmy Walker