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Nic Ladds 27th Jan 2010 - 16:37

Watney and Rollins could repeat last year's battle at Torrey Pines

The Farmer Insurance Open which to many will be more familiar as the San Diego Open kicks off on the PGA Tour this week at Torrey Pines Golf Course, the venue of the 2008 US Open and has attracted a fair field, with one star name in particular catching everyone's attention.

Phil Mickelson heads the market at odds of 13/2 and considering that 'Lefty' has won this three times and there is no Tiger Woods in the field he looks set to have a great week. This long, difficult course needs some serious talent to tame it and strong winds from the Pacific can make this even tougher, helping to explain why greatest such as Mickelson, Woods and Olazabal have won in recent years.

John Daly and Nick Watney have managed victories here as well and there is no hiding the fact that they are both very long hitters, with Watney finishing sixth in last year's driving stats and he is 18/1 for glory for the second year in a row while Daly who made a comeback last season can still whack the ball a fair distance and is 150/1 to win again.

There are many who would love to see 'The Wild Thing' get back to the top of this game and he will have his backers but they will be mainly sentimental ones this looks a tall order for Daly to win in such a tough field, Watney however has a leading chance after finishing in a share of 16 in the SBS Championship.

As this is such a rigorous course, then experience over all 7569 yards of the South course and 6874 of the North could be crucial and this paves the way beautifully for John Rollins to have a huge week at odds of 28/1.

Rollins finished runner up here last year to go with previous finishes eighth and fourth in 2002 and 2006 respectively and he comes here in fine fettle with a finish of 14 in the SBS followed by eighth in the Sony Open and he has recently been quoted saying "A lot of the tee shots, they fit my eye and the way I like to shape the ball...I just enjoy playing here" and what better sales pitch than that to back an in form golfer coming to a course he really enjoys playing.

Second favourite Robert Allenby (18/1) comes here in rude health and played the course adequately in the US Open in 2008, while the champion that year Lucas Glover tees up at 25/1 and 'The Big Easy' Ernie Els who is now basing himself in America could bounce right back to form and scoop the first prize here as he has played this event just once and finished sixth and seeing as he has won the US Open twice, should be able to handle the course and conditions and is considered at 20/1.

Dustin Johnson at 33/1 is one also worth considering as he has played well here in the past and is one of the longest drivers around, a stat that could have him right up there this week but at a big price; Jeff Klauk is the final selection at 80/1.

Kaluk finished in a share of 18 in the Bob Hope and after a trio of top five finishes last season looks one to watch for 2010. Add to this the fact that he finished an excellent 11 last year on his debut at Torrey Pines and this makes him very backable material at a great price.

Recommendation:

Nick Watney - 18/1

John Rollins - 28/1

Jeff Klauk - 80/1

 
 
 

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