The Back 9: 2021 Farmers Insurance Open Picks

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BetMGM @BETMGM Jun 20, 2022, 11:19 AM
Viktor Hovland of Norway looks on from the first tee ahead of the Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course on November 04, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Last week, Si Woo Kim (60-1) outlasted Patrick Cantlay’s scorching, final round 61 to claim victory at the American Express. Si Woo has been enjoying somewhat of a career resurgence starting from the midway point of 2020. He’s a streaky player to monitor throughout the rest of the PGA Tour season and the Olympics, as he can gain Korean military exemption if he medals in that event, assuming it’s even played. For now, enjoy the win Si Woo. On to the Farmers.

The course: This year’s Farmers Insurance Open returns to its old stomping grounds – a two-course set up that consists of Torrey Pines Golf Club (South) and the Torrey Pines North Course. The South course is a Par 72 that measures 7,569 yards and sports Poa greens, while the North Course measures 7,258 yards in length and has Bentgrass greens. Since three of the four rounds are played on the far lengthier and more difficult South course, we are going to target players who show sizable length off the tee and excel on Poa greens.


Adam Scott of Australia celebrates winning the PGA Championships at RACV Royal Pines on December 22, 2019 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Viktor Hovland (28-1)

Vik is going to be the only young player on our card this week. For the most part, the big names prevail at Torrey Pines. Past winners include Marc Leishman, Justin Rose, Jason Day and Jon Rahm just to name a few. But fear not, Vik has what it takes to prevail Torrey Pines. Hovland is no stranger to California coastal courses. He’s had success as both an amateur and pro at Pebble Beach and should be able to use his immaculate ball striking to navigate Torrey Pines. While Vik’s history at Torrey Pines is less than convincing (a solo missed cut), he did miss the cut at the OHL in 2019, a year before claiming that very title in 2020.

Adam Scott (40-1)

Adam Scott is now a big game hunter. Much like Brooks and Tiger, Scott has tailored his golf schedule to target the biggest tournaments and the strongest fields. According to, Scott ranks 6th overall on Par 72’s measuring greater than 7,400 yards over the last 50 rounds played. If that’s not enough of a reason to like Scott this week, he also came solo 2nd here in his only appearance at this tournament in 2019.

Gary Woodland (50-1)                                                      

After battling injuries through the latter half of 2020, Gary looked good in his return to play at the American Express. Woodland gained over 2.5 strokes off the tee and 1.5 strokes on his approaches last week per But most importantly, he looked healthy. Much like Vik, Gary loves a good coastal California course. Look no further than his U.S. Open victory at Pebble in 2019. If Gary can get the putter rolling, he’s one to look out for this week.

Louis Oosthuizen (66-1)

Louis marks the biggest question mark on this week’s card. There are plenty of reasons to think the South African vet will have success this week: he’s immaculate off the tee and on his approach, he loves putting on Poa greens and he seems to play his best when the fields are at their strongest. Yet, he still doesn’t have a win on U.S. soil. In the golf betting world, there are those who are Louis backers and those who aren’t. I am the former and given that this course suits his game, I’ll take a chance on Louis to claim his first PGA Tour win. 

Longshots/Cheek of the Week:

Max Homa of the United States plays his shot from the third tee during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 08, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Max Homa (100-1)

This week’s Cheek of the Week is none other than golf Twitter’s fan favorite, Max Homa. Max had a nice showing at the American Express last week, leading the field after 54 holes played. Unfortunately for Max, he struggled down the stretch and couldn’t seal the deal. Despite the “collapse”, Homa is a player that tends to stay hot for a while when his game is dialed in. As a California native, he also seems to up his game when playing in his home state. Given his distance off the tee and affinity for Poa greens, I think Homa is worth a bomb this week.

All PGA odds taken from BetMGM Sportsbook

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.