Tiger At Torrey Is Upon Us: Full Expectations & Preview

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Fusion Boy is home.

By “home” of course I mean Torrey Pines, the scene of 8 Tiger professional wins and a Junior Worlds Championship. He loves this place, so much so that he’s begun his season here every real year since 2006 and, once it was announced Torrey would host the 2008 U.S. Open, chit-chatted nonstop with then-caddie Stevie Williams about pin locations, tees they’d use, and changes they’d make.

Loves playing Torrey, loves talking Torrey, and loves winning at Torrey. He did so in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2008 again, and 2013.

Despite all that, Tiger hasn’t started a REAL Tour event in a healthy, optimistic state since August 2015. In recent interviews he’s said even then he wasn’t fully healthy. Yes, he shined through 72 holes in the Bahamas last month, grabbing the lead at one point and finishing above half of the world’s top players.

But this is different. This is the real deal, the real test. He missed the cut here last year. He withdrew here a few years before that citing back spasms. Torrey is a very tough test — a passing grade here would be a HUGE step towards a good year for Tiger.

As Tracker says, the expectation feels different this year.


Phil Mickelson

This event began in 1952 as the San Diego Open. It landed on a few different sponsors over the years until, in 2010, it became the Farmers Insurance Open. Beyond Tiger, Phil’s won here three times and many of the greats — Arnie, Jack, Tom Watson, Johnny Miller — have all won here.

It’s a historic stop, a staple event of the PGA Tour, and big names play and big names win here.

Last year, the game’s youngest rising star notched his maiden victory here in dramatic fashion.

The Track

There’s a North and a South Course, both will both be in play this week. For the first 36 holes, players split between the two. For the final 36, they play the South Course so that will be our focus here. The South is the tougher of the two, though the North did undergo a recent $12 million remodel.


The South

There aren’t many tricks here outside of steep elevation change. The South is long and tight with thick, punishing rough. The players universally praise and respect this place; it doesn’t try to trick you or deceive you or steal yo girl — it just fucks you the old-fashioned way.

It’s hosted golf’s toughest test and will again in 2021. Torrey’s got sharp teeth.

7,600-yard par 72 with a 78.1 rating & 144 slope.

Notable Holes

3rd, 198-yard par 3

Torrey Pines South

Elevated tee shot to a shallow green surrounded by trouble and, most notably, cliffs, oceans and #views. Gorgeous hole that really punishes shitty shots.

Rocco Mediate nearly holed out for an ace here in the Monday playoff vs Tiger in ’08.

13th, 614-yard par 5

Golf - PGA - Farmers Insurance Open

This one’s a beast but it’s very dependent on the wind. If it’s into, few guys will get home in two. If down, we’ll see some eagle looks.


Phil famously posted a 9-spot in the third round of the ’08 Open.

While Tiger, that same day, did this.

Great to have you back Fusion Boy.

18th, 571-yard par 5

Torrey Pines South

Farmers Insurance Open - Round Three

18th has proven to be one of the most dramatic finishing holes in golf. From Jon Rahm last year to Phil having Bones tend the flag from 100 yards out to Tiger’s putt in ’08, this one delivers. We often tout great par-4 finishers — Augusta, Oakmont, Quail Hallow, St. Andrews, Sawgrass to name a few — but Torrey’s 18th has established itself at one of the greats (especially one of the greatest par-5s).

This helped.

As did this, the greatest putt in golf history.


Buick Invitational - Round Two


Torrey Clubhouse = 0.9

The Field

As I said, Torrey brings big names. Tiger Woods, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Jason Day, Phil Mickelson.


Tiger’s Performance

People think I’m crazy for this but I 100% believe Tiger finishes top-20. His game looked so dramatically different in the Bahamas this time around than it did last time, he’s won here 8 times, and those chipping concerns? Well…

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Now, what would be a “successful” week? A successful week would simply be continuing to show no signs of ill health. That’s it. If he looks good, looks happy, looks healthy through 36 holes and misses the cut, that’s honestly fine. He’d be disappointed, sure, as we all would be, but that’s fine. No injuries followed by a handful of injury-free starts this spring would be incredibly successful.

Tiger has played the greatest golf this game has ever seen and done it with 3 or 4 different swings; if he can stay healthy, he’ll figure it out.

Winning Score

The renovations on both courses have really changed the difficulty of this event. Just one person’s won at double-digits under par since 2013 — that was Jon Rahm last year, at 13-under.


Weather’s supposed to be good.

Winning score prediction: -12


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Dark Horse

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Thursday: Golf Channel 3-7pm (Tiger will be on PGA Tour Live coverage)
Friday: Golf Channel 3-7pm (Tiger will be on PGA Tour Live coverage)
Saturday: Golf Channel 2-3:30pm; CBS 4pm to finish
Sunday: Golf Channel 1-2:45pm; CBS 3pm to finish

(Tiger’s Thursday tee time, 1:40pm ET; Friday, 12:30pm ET


Must have.

Final Thoughts


Cum everywhere!