Quick 9: Defending champ Snedeker reflects on good fortune at Torrey Pines
1. Sneds and the South course
Torrey Pines and the Farmers Insurance Open is typically an idyllic spot on the golf calendar, with picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean, people walking the beach, hang gliders soaring above the course.
But that has not been the case so far this week as heavy rain and cold temperatures have been part of the lead up to the tournament — although nothing like players faced a year ago during the final round, which was suspended until Monday with no spectators allowed due to hazardous conditions.
Brandt Snedeker played one of the rounds of the year, completing his final round on a day to stay inside, making just one bogey and shooting a 3-under-par 69 that was miles ahead of anyone else.
Having made eight straight pars after an opening bogey, Snedeker birdied four of the first five holes on the back nine. He made four pars to finish his round, then watched as play was suspended. He came to the course Monday unable to play defense, but seeing the windy, brisk conditions do the trick for him.
“I had never been a part of anything like that before,” Snedeker said. “Completely out of my control at that point. It was kind of crazy. I told my wife (Mandy) that I know what it’s like to be a tour wife now because I was out there with no control of anything and I was a nervous wreck.
“(While playing I) tried to keep a good attitude. Wasn’t thinking about how miserable it was out there. I drove the ball fantastic. I made a couple of putts early to get going, great back nine, and it’s just crazy how things worked out. You have to embrace the conditions.”
2. Tough Torrey
The weather was the big factor last year, but even if the conditions are benign, Torrey’s South course has become a beast. There has been an effort in recent years to toughen up what is already a difficult course by growing more rough. “The South Course is such a brutal U.S. Open style golf course,” said Jason Day, who won the 2015 Farmers. “You typically go, okay, I’m going to try to shoot as low as I can on the North side and try to survive on the South side. That’s kind of the mentality because of how tough the South side is.”
Torrey Pines had the third-highest scoring average (73.275) behind only the Masters at Augusta National…