English the Value as Stars Head to San Diego

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Torrey Pines is the scene for this week's Farmers Insurance Open and while some big names return, it could be a form horse who triumphs.

Harris English

The picturesque Torrey Pines is the venue for this week’s PGA Tour offering as a number of the game’s best assemble for the Farmers Insurance Open.

A fabulous field has been assembled and while some of the big names will immediately capture the attention, it could be one of the form players in the game who takes the honours.

Rahm Returns From Gymnasium Injury

Jon Rahm has declared himself fully fit and having won the tournament in 2017 for a PGA Tour breakthrough – and he was runner-up last year – he is sure to have a smile on his face heading to California.

The Spaniard was due to play in The American Express last week, but withdrew prior after injuring his back in the gymnasium. Rahm has made just one appearance this year, sharing seventh place in the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

Although the 6/1 market leader, punters thinking of backing him this week on the strength of that promising finishing position should be aware that his chipping was magnificent and saved his score.

If his ball-striking is as poor as it was for the Sentry, the world number two could be in for a trying week at the long and difficult Torrey Pines.

McIlroy Eager to Put Abu Dhabi Behind Him

Rory McIlroy was emphatically outplayed by Tyrrell Hatton in the final round of the Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday – and the Northern Irishman is seeking to bounce back in the Farmers Insurance Open. McIlroy started last Sunday with a one-stroke lead, but ended up losing by five shots to an inspired Hatton.

Can the four-times Major champion follow up third place in Abu Dhabi with victory at Torrey Pines? His fans can get 15/2 about that happening – and his previous Farmers results of 5-3 are encouraging.

The long Torrey Pines South venue, which stages three of the four rounds this week, suits those who are strong off the tee – and McIlroy has long been considered one of the best drivers the game has ever seen.

The 31-year-old has three new clubs in his bag last week though – a driver, three-wood and five-wood which he put in play for the first time – and he also has to deal with jet-lag after trekking from the Middle East to California.

English Could Be Set for Further Glory

Harris English at 20/1 may represent superior value to the favourites this week.

English claimed the third PGA Tour title of his career with a gutsy effort in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and over the last 16 months he has been one of the most consistent performers on the planet. In the FedEx Cup playoffs last year, a runner-up finish to Dustin Johnson in The Northern Trust was impressive, and he followed that up with fourth spot in the US Open.

His final two outings of 2020 yielded fifth place in the Mayakoba Classic and victory in the QBE Shootout pairs event alongside Matt Kuchar.

English and Kuchar broke the QBE Shootout scoring record and the 31-year-old is clearly in the form of his life. There is no reason to believe the giant Georgian will drop his gallop – particularly at Torrey Pines, where he lost a playoff for the 2015 Farmers title.

If Rahm and McIlroy flop, English may be the man to take advantage.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

Steve has been a Racing Post columnist, golf tipster and punter for most of his working life. One of the most well-known tipsters in the country, his columns featuring golf betting tips have been must read material for years.

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