The PGA Tour travels southwest through California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines this week. Players will play the North and South course once on Thursday or Friday, with the weekend rounds being played on the South course only.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson headline the field, adding intrigue to one of the top tournaments on Tour already. Tiger, coming off a missed cut in Abu Dhabi, returns to Torrey Pines after not playing the event last year. He has previously won the tournament six times and is the leading money winner, with winnings totaling $5,747,096 at the event.
Mickelson will be making his second start of the year after playing at the Humana Challenge last week. He closed strong on the weekend shooting 66 on Saturday and Sunday to finish at 17-under par in a tie for 37th place.
Mickelson made headlines after the final round of the Humana Challenge, saying that he planned to make a number of “drastic” off-course changes. He hinted at the possibility of moving from California due to the state and federal tax increase and the hit on his wallet.
“If you add up all the federal [taxes] and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state [taxes], my tax rate’s 62, 63 percent,” Mickelson said. “So I’ve got to make some decisions on what I’m going to do.”
Mickelson has since released a statement apologizing for the statements, saying, “finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public.”
Brandt Snedeker is the defending champion after Kyle Stanley’s debacle on the final hole last year led to a playoff. Snedeker won with a par on the first playoff hole, 16th hole, after Stanley bogeyed the par 3. Snedeker used the playoff victory to springboard himself to the $10 million FedExCup Championship and earn a spot on the Ryder Cup team.
Only three players holding the 54-hole lead have gone on to victory since 2000, Tiger Woods in 2003 and 2008, Phil Mickelson in 2000, and John Daly in 2004.
Golf Channel will have coverage on Thursday and Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. EST. CBS kicks of their coverage for the year on Saturday and Sunday from 3 p.m. 6 p.m.