On The Range Blog - January 25

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On The Range Talent
Host: Gary Williams (Golf Channel)
Analyst: Billy Harmon (Instructor & Caddie for Jay & Bill Haas)
Analyst: Wayne Player (Instructor; Played in U.S. Open & Open Championship)
Analyst: Billy Kratzert (4-time PGA TOUR winner)

This Week’s Events
Farmers Insurance Open
Torrey Pines South & North Courses – La Jolla, CA
Defending Champion: Bubba Watson

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship
Abu Dhabi GC – Abu Dhabi, UAE
Defending Champion: Martin Kaymer

Marquee Players
Tiger Woods (Abu Dhabi)
-14-time Major Champion
-Won last professional start (2011 Chevron World Challenge)
-Making 1st appearance in Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship
-Making 2012 debut
-Caddie: Joe LaCava
-Instructor: Sean Foley

Dustin Johnson (Farmers Insurance Open)
-5 career PGA TOUR wins
-WD last week in Humana Challenge
-T3 in 2011 Farmers Insurance Open
-3rd on 2011 PGA TOUR in Driving Distance
-Caddie: Bobby Brown
-Instructor: Butch Harmon

Course Survey
Torrey Pines South (Par 72 – 7,569 yards)
Torrey Pines North (Par 72 – 6,874 yards)

-A lot of notorious bombers have won at Torrey Pines over the past few years: Bubba Watson, Nick Watney, Tiger Woods (6 times total) and John Daly to name a few
-Scrambling is key: 4 of the past 5 champions have finished Top 10 for the week in scrambling (’09 Watney and ’10 Crane finished 1st)
-Bubba Watson led the field in Driving Distance, Greens in Regulation, Proximity to Hole and Ball Striking last year en route to victory
-Must take advantage of your one round on the North Course: On the 2011 PGA TOUR, the South Course was the 11th toughest scoring course while the North Course was 38th. ’08 Woods, ’10 Crane and ’11 Watson all shot 65 on the North Course, their lowest round of the week
-Hitting fairways is tough: Torrey Pines North was the toughest driving accuracy course on the 2011 PGA TOUR (39.80%) and Torrey Pines South was 4th (49.54%). This however does not mean driving accuracy is important to win. Only 1 champion in the past decade has even sniffed the Top 10 in driving accuracy for the week (Crane T8 in 2010)

Top 5: Bombers in Golf
Whether it be on the range or out on the course, some players can leave you in awe with the way they hit the golf ball. There are few places where crushing the golf ball is more important than Torrey Pines, where the list of past champions are known for going long. Gary Williams shares his thoughts on the Top 5 Bombers in Golf:

1. Gary Woodland (Gary on Gary: “On the driving range at the Wells Fargo Championship, I once saw him drive the ball 330 yards carry uphill and receive a standing ovation from the crowd. I’ve never seen anything like it.”)
2. Alvaro Quiros
3. Bubba Watson
4. Dustin Johnson
5. Jason Kokrak

Featured Groups
Farmers Insurance Open
Coverage Begins Thursday at 2:30PM ET on Golf Channel

Thursday, 1:00PM ET, 1st Tee, South Course
Ernie Els, Geoff Ogilvy, Justin Rose

Thursday, 1:10PM ET, 1st Tee, South Course
Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Nick Watney

Friday, 12:50PM ET, 1st Tee, South Course
Camilo Villegas, Gary Woodland, Dustin Johnson