Yahoo PGA DFS Picks: Farmers Insurance Open Cash and GPP Strategy

Yahoo PGA DFS Picks: Farmers Insurance Open Cash and GPP Strategy

Farmers Insurance Open

San Diego, California
Torrey Pines (South Course) - Par 72 - 7,765 yards
Torrey Pines (North Course) - Par 72 - 7,258 yards
Field - 156 entrants
Purse - $9.0M

The Preview

Just days after an amateur nearly reached the 30-under-par mark to emerge victorious at The American Express, the Farmers Insurance Open now plays host to a full 156-man field on what projects to be an adversely difficult setup at Torrey Pines, where we expect to see four-inch rough lining narrow fairways into small poa greens on the extremely long South Course. Significant rainfall has arrived in the San Diego area early in the week, potentially making the task of navigating the lengthy South Course even more daunting with a Wednesday start, so it'll be as important as ever to take advantage of its easier counterpart to the north before a 36-hole cut. Not only is distance off the tee rewarded, but nearly half of the expected approach-shot distribution lies within the 175-225 yard range. However, a mild forecast throughout the tournament that calls for a tame coastal breeze could help improve scoring conditions.

Recent Champions

2023 - Max Homa
2022 - Luke List
2021 - Patrick Reed
2020 - Marc Leishman
2019 - Justin Rose
2018 - Jason Day
2017 - Jon Rahm
2016 - Brandt Snedeker
2015 - Jason Day
2014 - Scott Stallings

Key Stats to Victory

Driving distance
SG: Approach
Rough Proximity and Proximity: 150-plus yards

Yahoo Value Picks

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Xander Schauffele - $44

The top of the salary board is littered with California natives, but San Diego's very own Schauffele gets the nod in this spot over Patrick Cantlay ($44) and defending champion Max Homa ($43). Schauffele is coming off a T3 at The American Express where he played his final 36 holes in a collective 16-under-par, requiring just 46 total putts across two rounds at PGA West's Stadium Course. He's second to none in both Prox: 150-175 yards and P4: 450-500 Efficiency over his last 36 measured rounds, while also ranking top-6 in SG: Approach and SG: Putting (on poa greens) within this sample. Schauffele has placed T34 or better in three straight Farmers Insurance Open appearances, most notably tying for second here in 2021 when he broke 70 twice during his weekend on the challenging South Course.

Collin Morikawa - $42

Morikawa certainly won't overpower this golf course off the tee, but that hasn't kept him from posting a pair of top-5s in his last two trips to Torrey Pines, which include a T4 here at the 2021 U.S. Open when he paced the major championship in GIR percentage. He also led the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open in par-5 scoring, total birdies and fairways in regulation on the way to a solo-third result. Over his past 36 rounds, Morikawa claims the No. 1 ranking in both SG: Approach and bogey avoidance.

Sungjae Im - $38

Much like the aforementioned Morikawa, Im might not turn heads with his driver, but he's still managed to make the cut in each of his first five FIO outings dating back to 2019, and he's placed T4-T6 here the past two seasons. Im should've finished better than T25 last week in La Quinta, but he played the par-5s horribly at PGA West's Stadium Course on Sunday, though he ranked eighth among the field in SG: Off-the-Tee and T9 in driving accuracy during the final round of The AmEx. Diving a bit deeper into his course fit for Torrey Pines, Im ended the 2022-23 campaign ranked inside the top-20 on Tour in both SG: Around-the-Green and rough proximity.

Glue Guys

Min Woo Lee - $37

Lee marries his top-tier power with a creative short game to find himself second in driving distance, third in scrambling and fourth in bogey avoidance over his last 36 rounds. He led the field in driving distance during each of his two rounds on the Stadium Course at PGA West en route to a T21 at The AmEx last week, and Lee will bring that advantageous strength to his Torrey Pines debut.

Hideki Matsuyama - $34

Matsuyama struggled mightily on the greens at Kapalua in his 2024 debut at The Sentry as he lost 9.5 strokes with the flat stick on the way to a 58th-place effort, but he rebounded with a T30 at the Sony Open in Hawaii where he gained 3.9 strokes from tee to green. Expanding the sample to his past 36 measured rounds, Matsuyama ranks 11th or better in each of SG: APP, Prox: 175-200, Prox: 200-plus, SG: Around-the-Green and P4: 450-500 Efficiency. He's gone seven consecutive starts at the Farmers Insurance Open without a missed cut, most recently tying for ninth here last year when he finished fourth in putting average.

Luke List - $31

List's 2022 victory at the FIO is sandwiched by another pair of top-25s here in 2021 and 2023, while ultimately making the cut in six straight visits to Torrey Pines. Despite lousy short-game metrics, List's ball-striking chops have him in the No. 9 spot of my custom model this week as he resides third in Prox: 200-plus, 13th in driving distance, 15th in SG: APP and 16th in SG: OTT over his past 36 rounds. Expect a healthy amount of ownership on List shares at a sub-$33 salary.

Bargain Bin

Sam Stevens - $27

Stevens wasn't intimidated in his Torrey Pines debut last year when he tied for 13th at the FIO, racking up 19 birdies while ranking T13 among the field in GIR percentage. He's now coming off back-to-back made cuts at the Sony Open in Hawaii and The American Express to begin his 2024 campaign. Additionally, Stevens is top-25 in both driving distance and SG: Around-the-Green over his past 36 rounds.

Daniel Berger - $20

Berger rattled off four consecutive scores of 68 or better in his return from a lengthy hiatus last week at The AmEx, where nobody hit more fairways in regulation than him during Sunday's final round at PGA West's Stadium Course. It's unlikely the rust is even close to completely shaken off, but Berger's Yahoo salary didn't budge, and that's not an accurate representation of his current market value in the betting and DFS streets. His Torrey Pines resume includes a T7 at the 2021 U.S. Open and a T20 at the 2022 FIO.

Kevin Yu - $20

Yu can absolutely mash the ball off the tee, guiding him to a position of fourth in SG: OTT and sixth in driving distance over his last 36 rounds. He also just ranked second in SG: Approach and seventh in SG: Around-the-Green during Sunday's final round at The AmEx, tallying 10 birdies en route to matching a career-best, third-place finish. Yu posted a 310.5-yard driving average while making the cut at last year's Farmers Insurance Open.

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