Farmers Insurance Open Tips: Stick with a proven strategy and back Tiger to tame Torrey Pines

Tiger looks good for a ninth Torrey Pines win
Tiger looks good for a ninth Torrey Pines win

Tiger Woods makes his seasonal debut this week at a venue where he has repeatedly rewarded his backers this century. The odds are short, but not short enough to deter Paul Krishnamurty from employing a tried and trusted plan...

"It has been clear for a couple of years that the way to profit from Tiger nowadays is to back him on his favourite tracks, avoid or lay him everywhere else."

It's that time of year again, when golf punters ponder whether their annual 'good thing' will deliver yet again. Tiger Woods has won six of the last eight renewals of this week's Farmers Insurance Open, by a remarkable aggregate margin of 21 shots, and is bidding for his ninth course victory. No wonder the initial market response has been so positive, with his odds shortening by over 10% from 4.47/2 to 3.7511/4 over the last few hours.

Those that took the early price have got a bargain, as it is impossible to construct a golfing case against Tiger this week. Quite simply, he owns the South Course at Torrey Pines. His only failure here since 2004 was when his game was in crisis following injury and the collapse of his marriage in 2011. He even won a US Open over five days and 90 holes with a broken leg here. Very few courses, if any, play more to Tiger's strengths. The South Course is a layout that really separates the best from the rest, demanding power, accurate long iron play and world-class scrambling skills. Tiger's power is famous and nobody has ever been better at the last two disciplines.

That isn't to say there are no doubts surrounding Tiger. I wondered recently whether the great man had lost his bottle and remain highly sceptical about his chances in majors. For my money, Tiger isn't quite the player of old and now merely just one of a handful of elite players. However that has been the case ever since the earlier career crises and it hasn't made a jot of difference to form on his favourite tracks. In addition to Torrey Pines, he's also won eight times at Bay Hill and Firestone. In what was far from a vintage 2013, Tiger won at all three.

If looking for an argument to oppose him, it could be noted that Woods hasn't won on his seasonal debut since 2008, except there is an important mitigating factor. Only one of those debuts was at Torrey Pines - the aforementioned 2011 renewal when in no shape to win. Otherwise, moderate form elsewhere has proved irrelevant. Last year he arrived straight off an embarrassing missed cut in Abu Dhabi, duly eased home by four shots, then returned to struggling in his next two events. In any case, even if not at its peak, Tiger's game was in good enough shape when last seen, finishing second in the World Challenge and third in the Turkish Airlines Open.

Generally, I am loathe to backing golfers at such short odds but an exception must be made in this almost unique case. It has been clear for a couple of years that the way to profit from Tiger nowadays is to back him on his favourite tracks, avoid or lay him everywhere else. Those three aforementioned courses are the most favoured, but you could also add Muirfield Village, scene of five Memorial victories. In 2015, St Andrews should be added to the list ahead of his bid for a third straight Open title there. Following that golden rule over the past two seasons would have yielded five wins from seven bets and a profit of around 300%. Until the system starts failing, why abandon a winning formula? 

Recommended bet

Back Tiger Woods 6u @ 3.7511/4 to win the Farmers Insurance Open

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles