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Farmers Insurance Open Preview

Tiger Woods

The Farmers Insurance Open takes place at Torrey Pines between January 25-28 and witness the return of Tiger Woods for his first PGA Tour event in 2018.

Woods won the US Open at Torrey Pines in 2008, the last of his 14 majors, and is a seven-time winner of the Farmers – making him the most successful player in the tournament’s history.

Jon Rahm is the defending champion having won the Farmers in 2017 when recording a three-shot victory over Charles Howell III and Pan Cheng-tsung.

Farmers Insurance Open History

The Farmers Insurance Open was first held in 1952 and was known as the San Diego Open until 1986. It then had various guises connected to singer Andy Williams before becoming the Buick Invitational and, since 2010, the Farmers Insurance Open.

The event has been staged at Torrey Pines since 1968 with both the North and South courses used. The latter is the course on which Woods won the US Open in 2008.

Woods is also the most successful player in the tournament, winning seven times in 1999, 2003, 2005-08 and 2013. Phil Mickelson has won three times, while the names of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Davis Love III, Mark O’Meara, Jose Maria Olazabal, Bubba Watson and Jason Day are also on the roll of honour.

Farmers Insurance Open Course

Torrey Pines is a 36-hole golf course with the North and South Courses. Players play both courses, which are par-72 tests, during the opening two rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open. The final two rounds are then played over the South Course.

The North Course is the shorter of the two at 7,258 yards, while the 7,698-yard South Course is one of the longest played on the PGA Tour each year.

The course gets its name from the rare tree that grows along the San Diego coastline.

Farmers Insurance Open Contenders

All eyes will be on Tiger Woods as he returns to action for the first time in 2018. He has made the tournament his own down the years, winning seven times, but how will he perform in the first real test of his fitness levels?

Phil Mickelson is also seeking to rediscover his best form after a year of struggle in 2017 and knows how to win at Torrey Pines.

But bookmakers are making defending champion Jon Rahm the one to beat again following his victory in a play-off in the CareerBuilder last weekend.

Rickie Fowler, a winner in Hawaii in December, is expected to career that form into the Farmers, while Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Rose are among the favourites to come out on top at Torrey Pines.

Australians Jason Day, winner of the Farmers two years ago, and Marc Leishman are other leading contenders.

Picture: Tiger Woods / Facebook.