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Farmers Insurance Open Preview

Professional Caddy Mark Huber's views on the upcoming tournament

Posted Jan 27, 2011 by Mark's Kaddy Korner

farmers insurance open

Tiger’s here this week, that’s all that matters. The PGA Tour could be playing on airport runways and if the Woods guy shows up there will be a huge crowd with loads of media static. He has roamed Torrey Pines in La Jolla since childhood destroying the course and his opposition on a regular basis. I think there’s 13 trophies from Torrey resting someplace with Tiger Woods name engraved on them. Tiger remembers coming to the tournament when he was 6 or 7 and playing the course at an early age. Yes he’s my favorite and everyone else’s teeing it up in a fantasy league. The only question is how low will he go and how much will the winning margin be.

By the luck of the draw, ha-ha, he’s teeing it up with Rocco and A.K. the first two days. If the weather holds you’ll see record crowds following them, there won’t be much need for gallery ropes on the other fairways. Phil’s here, heard he decided to bring his driver this time, and some of the locals may tag along watching his smiles and nods. With both big boys back the season has officially started, I guess.

Years ago the Andy Williams Open drew quite a field and a few celebrities then it faded from the spotlight for awhile. Since the USGA announced the 2008 U.S. Open site and changes were made to the South course a few more prestigious players have showed up. There’s a birdie barrage one day, pros tear up the North course, but the South keeps them in line forcing a bit more strategy. The rough should be up a bit, there’s been some rain, and scores in the high 60s will be good on the South’s bumpy greens.

There is an active INS department in San Diego and in years past a few foreign caddies without proper papers have been detained. Some say unemployed local caddies snitched, hopefully everyone clears customs and no one needs a fill-in on the bag. There’s a lot of local knowledge around both tracks, your regular caddie is extremely important when dealing with the coastal winds, driving lines off the tees and treacherous greens.

Like I said Tiger is the only choice as favorite and my other three are:

Bill Haas – playing well and his length helps here. No longer Jay Haas’ son, he’s Bill Haas.

Kevin Na – he’s ready for his first win, been sneaking around the leader board last couple weeks.

Robert Garrigus – length and attitude will help. MC at Wailae, week off and ready to go.

If I had a back-up foursome it would be K.J. Choi, Bubba Watson, Ben Crane and sleeper Chris Baryla.

Other than Tiger’s run, only Phil has gone back to back in the tournament’s sixty years. There have been quite a few playoffs, some unknowns sneaking in (Woody Blackburn, Greg Twiggs and Bob Dickson) for wins and Devlin’s Billabong fronting the eighteenth green has drowned many hopeful winners. The finishing holes are very exciting, if Tiger’s not running away look for an exciting finish on Sunday.

- Mark Huber

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