He’s a bigger price than Tiger and that doesn’t make much sense to me.” Originally called the San Diego Open and first staged in 1952, the Farmers Insurance Open is now in its 66th year. The event is played over two courses, with the entire field playing both the North and South Courses over the first two days before the weekend play is staged entirely on the tougher, longer, South Course.
After his promising performance in his own event in December, when he finished tied for ninth, Tiger Woods appears for the first time in 2018.
With the fairways being that hard to hit, even the most accurate from the tee will miss them and as the more accurate types tend to be the shorter hitters, a missed fairway for them is nearly always going to lead to a bogey at least. Patrick Rodgers and Justin Rose made the top-eight ranking joint first for Driving Distance last year but so did C.
T Pan and Charles Howell III ranking 64th and 67th.
The last seven winners have all been drawn on the North Course on day two but I'm not convinced that's significant now the changes have been made to the North.
Rahm only shot 69 there on day two last year (post-course changes) and Snedeker shot a lacklustre two-under par 70 in 2016 (had been two-over early on!
"It may be a half stroke or three quarters of a stroke more challenging than it was in the past," but it played a bit tougher than expected.
There was a 3.57 strokes differential in the bad weather of 2016 and the difference was 3.29 in 2015 but the North Course only averaged 1.49 strokes easier last year and only one player bettered 67 on either day. Weather Forecast Live on Sky Sports all four days beginning at on Thursday but there is also the bonus of live Featured Group coverage on Thursday and Friday, starting at .
The two nines were reversed and two holes had their pars changed.The old par four eighth hole became the par five 17th (the easiest hole on the course last year) and the old par five ninth is now a par four and the 18th. They were increased in size by 40% and converted to Bentgrass.The old par four 16th hole, which is now the new seventh hole, was shortened and is now drivable but it was no pushover 12 months ago. They used to be significantly smaller and slower than those on the South Course but they're now around 6,400 square feet and bigger than those on the South.For the record, the last six winners have had an average Greens In Regulation ranking of 21.33 and an average Putting Average ranking of 11.0 but it's tough to get a strong statistical angle in.Rahm ranked between 10th and 19th for all the key stats last year and that probably gives us the best indication.The South Course was the scene of his last major win - the 2008 US Open - and he's won this event seven times so it's going to be fascinating to see how he fares. North Course, par 72, 7,258 yards, stroke average in 2017 - 71.28 South Course, par 72, 7,698 yards, stroke average in 2017 - 72.77 Both courses were designed by Billy Bell Jr. At a couple of paces short of 7,700 yards, the South Course is extremely long and it's a tough test.It was extensively revamped in 2001, by Rees Jones; after it had been awarded the 2008 US Open, which an injured Tiger Woods went on to win in a play-off over Rocco Mediate.Rahm is now the world number two and surely destined to become a major winner, the 2009 champion, Nick Watney, has won a WGC event, a Fed Ex Cup playoff event and should arguably have won the 2010 USPGA Championship and Snedeker, successful in 20, is a Fed Ex Cup winner with multiple victories on the PGA Tour and a plethora of high finishes in major championships.Every other winner dating back to 1996 has won a major. Snedeker sat seven, eight and six adrift after rounds one, two and three before firing a quite remarkable three-under-par 69 in round four in vile conditions.Charles Howell III described them as 'phenomenal' and without a blade of poa annua last year.The Tournament Director Peter Ripa didn't expect the changes to the North Course to make much difference, saying.