SAN DIEGO – The PGA Tour’s West Coast swing continues this week with the Farmers Insurance Open. Here are four featured groups to watch this week at Torrey Pines (all times ET):
1:30 p.m. (South) Thursday, 12:20 p.m. (North): Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker, Fabian Gomez
After a quiet debut at Kapalua (T-10), Johnson returns to Torrey Pines, where hasn’t enjoyed much success, with one top-15 finish in seven tries. The opposite has been true for Snedeker, who won here in 2012 and added top-10 finishes in 2007, ’10, ’11 and ’13. In his last start, at the Sony Open, he shot four rounds of 66 or better and lost in a playoff. The winner that week? Gomez, who this week will try to end a streak of three consecutive missed cuts here.
1:40 p.m. (South) Thursday, 12:30 p.m. (North): Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Jimmy Walker
Mickelson was one of the biggest revelations last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, shaking off three months of rust with a T-3 finish during which he led the field in strokes gained-tee to green. Though he’s a three-time winner here in his hometown event, he hasn’t won since 2001 and his last four starts read like this: MC-WD-T51-MC. Rose doesn’t have a top-20 here in six tries and he’s making his first start of 2016. In his most recent event, he finished 13th in the limited-field World Challenge. Walker always tends to play well on the West Coast, and that includes Torrey Pines, where he has three top-10 finishes in his last four starts. He placed inside the top 15 in both the Tournament of Champions and Sony Open to begin the new year.
12:20 p.m. (North) Thursday, 1:20 p.m. (South): Jason Day, Harris English, J.B. Holmes
Day, the defending champion and world No. 2, makes his first full-field stroke-play start since the Tour Championship. Last year, he shot 9-under 279 and won in a playoff, his first of five wins. He had top-10s each of the previous two years, as well. Holmes and English lost to Day in last year’s playoff. Holmes’ most recent top-10 in a full-field stroke-play event? His victory last April at the Houston Open. English, meanwhile, is coming off a T-56 in the Sony Open.
12:30 p.m. (North) Thursday, 1:30 p.m. (South): Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama
Fowler makes the long trip from Abu Dhabi to play in the San Diego-area event for the seventh consecutive year. After posting top-20 finishes in his first four tries, he hasn’t been better than 61st in the last two editions. Reed snapped a string of seven consecutive top-10s worldwide with his T-56 showing last week in Palm Springs. In his only start here, in 2013, he finished in a tie for 39th. Matsuyama also has limited experience here, tying for 16th in 2014 and missing the cut a year ago. This is his first start of 2016.