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DFS Dish: Farmers Insurance Open

Sahith Theegala

Sahith Theegala

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

A Wednesday start means less time to research this week ahead of the Farmers Insurance Open.

It also means less time to second guess and overanalyze, which can be a positive sometimes.

On a short week it’s nice to have some familiarity with the course and that’s what we have this week at Torrey Pines. The South Course is the longest layout on the PGA TOUR so distance is preferred when finding names to plug into your DFS rosters.

On top of the length, Torrey Pines is also known for its tricky, poa annua greens. Let’s look at some historical stats to see plays well on poa.

Popping on Poa

The North Course at Torrey Pines received an overhaul after the 2016 edition that saw its poa greens replaced with bentgrass. The poa is starting to leak back into the mix while the South Course remains dominated by the pesky poa.

“You have to hole out well, make a lot of those putts, four-, five-, six-footers, and on these poa annua greens get really, really bumpy and it can be tough to kind of get the ball in the hole sometimes.” -Justin Thomas in 2022

“Out here on the poa annua, when it grows in the afternoon and guys have been walking over it with soft conditions like this, it makes it a lot tougher to hole putts.” -Jason Day in 2017

Here are the top performers in adjusted strokes gained per round when playing courses with poa annua greens, over the last two years:

Xander Schauffele
Jon Rahm
Collin Morikawa
Tony Finau
Justin Thomas
Max Homa
Sungjae Im
Will Zalatoris
Hideki Matsuyama
Harris English
Maverick McNealy
Sahith Theegala
Cam Davis
Taylor Moore
Jason Day

We can also look at performance versus baseline to see who shows the largest increase in performance compared to their typical scores:

Harris English
Austin Cook
Austin Smotherman
Beau Hossler
Sahith Theegala
Xander Schauffele
Wyndham Clark
Taylor Moore
Scott Stallings
Luke List
Tyler Duncan
Hayden Buckley
Peter Malnati
Taylor Pendrith
Matthew NeSmith

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Xander Schauffele, Harris English, Sahith Theegala, and Taylor Moore.

Schauffele and Theegala both have California roots and seem to use that comfort to bump their game up when playing on familiar turf.

Schauffele’s sharp in his return from short injury stint

The La Jolla native gave gamers a scare in Kapalua when he backed out of the pro-am and then withdrew from the main event during round two. A week off did the trick for Schauffele as his distance returned at PGA WEST and his back issues looked like a thing from the distant past. His final round at PGA WEST included an albatross and he’ll look to keep that momentum rolling with a home game at Torrey Pines. The San Diego State product had trouble tuning out the distractions with missed cuts in his first three tries at the Farmers. He’s figured things out with a top 25 and runner-up finish in two of his last four tries. Gamers should expect another big finish this week, as long as his back doesn’t flare up again.

Theegala thinking about breaking his maiden

He’s held the lead after five rounds on the PGA TOUR but remains on the hunt for his breakout win. Theegala grew up in Diamond Bar and went to school at Pepperdine. This West Coast poa annua turf is very familiar to him and it shows with his increase over baseline when playing courses with poa annua greens. It’s always fun to root for a breakout win which makes Theegala an attractive option this week at Torrey Pines.