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Farmers Insurance Open: Big-hitting youth a fine each-way hope

| 03.02.2015

Looking down the list of previous winners of the Farmers Insurance Open, and the previous incarnations of the Torrey Pines event, it’s clear that this a tournament for the big-hitters to thrive.

Forget the intricacies of iron approaches or deft touches around the greens, this a tournament where brute force is rewarded with silverware. How else can a winning list containing Tiger Woods (seven times), Bubba Watson, John Daly, Phil Mickelson (three times) and Craig Stadler be explained?

So, with the winning criteria shining like a lighthouse beacon in the night, finding the booming driver in the field that can provide some value becomes a far easier task.

The longest hitter on the PGA Tour this year is Brooks Koepka, who won the Waste Management Phoenix Open last week and is a 25/1 shot for consecutive successes in San Diego. However, he will be a Farmers debutant when he tees it up in the Golden State.

Similarly lengthy off the peg, in just as good a form, but at a longer price to win sits Justin Thomas, who is given a 33/1 chance to reign supreme by Ladbrokes.

On his first full season on the Tour, the 21-year-old sits 16th in the driving distance list but has been at an elite level when it comes to scoring on the longer holes.

In his last five tournaments, which have all resulted in a top-25 finish, Thomas has been among the top two in the field for par-5 scoring.

He was a top-10 finisher in his debut appearance at the event last year and has three top 10s in his current string of impressive finishes.

As he’s yet to win a tournament in his young career, backing him each way is recommended as it it will pay out at a quarter of the odds should he finish in the top five.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.