Farmers Insurance Open 2023 standings, scores: Justin Thomas takes on the South Course as Jon Rahm holds back

Farmers Insurance Open 2023 standings, scores: Justin Thomas takes on the South Course as Jon Rahm holds back

Conditions were ideal on the La Jolla cliffs on Wednesday at the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open. Without a breath of wind to contend with, the bowlers were able to attack the pins on both the difficult South Course and the accessible North Course. While Sam Ryder, Aaron Rai and Brent Grant took possession of the first round lead courtesy of an 8-under 64 on the North Course, it was a bigger name in Justin Thomas who took control of the tournament.

At a four-under-par 68, the two-time PGA champion signed for the second-lowest round of the day on the South Course. In the midst of a hiatus since the summer months, Thomas had his second start of the year without finishing in the top 10 in a full-field event since the Canadian Open.

With his iron numbers receding slightly, the pristine approach play we have grown accustomed to seeing from Thomas was very evident in Round 1. Ranking second in strokes gained from tee to green and fourth in approach strokes gained among from the South Course, Thomas will try to close the gap between himself and the leaders in what is expected to be a windy second round.

The leaders

T1. Sam Ryder, Aaron Rai, Brent Grant (-8)

This is quite an eclectic group that includes a veteran PGA Tour player, a rookie and a DP World Tour winner. Rai was in contention at this tournament a year ago and plays well in terrible conditions, as seen in his victory at the 2020 Scottish Open, so he should be home tomorrow and can have the most power of permanence.

“I think the temperature and also the way the wind affects the ball is a little bit closer to the temperature it would have grown in in the UK. The ball doesn’t travel as far here compared to other places in the US The wind feels a little bit heavier as well,” Rai said of his comfort in Torrey Pines. “So I guess I see the shots a little bit clearer where sometimes when it’s hot in the United States and when there’s a 5, 10 mph wind, the ball can fly straight, whereas here I feel like you can use the wind as a little buffer, which probably suits my sight a little better, so it probably helps me hitting the green.”

Other contenders

4. Brendan Steele (-7)

T5. Sahith Theegala, Hayden Buckley, Sam Stevens, André Novak, Garrick Higgo, Gary Woodland (-6)

T11. Luke List, Collin Morikawa, SH Kim, Ben Griffin, Vincent Norrman, Taylor Montgomery, Lanto Griffin, Harry Higgs (-5)

Just keep doing it. Continuing a stellar freshman campaign that has included nine straight cuts and eight top-15 finishes, Montgomery arrived in Torrey Pines fresh off a title run in Palm Springs. Hitting his tee shot at 71 overboard and dashing his hopes of winning the American Express, an almost inevitable disappointment for the best putter on the PGA Tour. Instead, Montgomery is back on the front page of the leaderboard with his sights set on more than one top-15 finish.

What happened to Jon Rahm?

The world No. 3 felt right at home early in his first round when he birdied two of his first five holes. At the par 5 6 in two, Rahm would finish three-putting for par at the start of a 20-minute stretch that derailed his day. Hitting his approach shot on the next hole in the penalty area, a double bogey ensued, ending all his previous work.

With two bogeys and a birdie to complete his day, Rahm finally posted a 1 over 73 and is nine shots off the lead. Marking his first round above par in 150 days, Rahm will try to bounce back on the North Course on Thursday and get back into contention.

A tale of two courses

The South Course played exactly 2.5 shots harder than the North Course on Wednesday, and will play even harder on Thursday. With winds expected to reach 30mph and gusts potentially up to 40mph, players will have to hang on for dear life. Whether this increases the scoring average on the North Course will also be the question going into Round 2, as it could very well widen the gap between the two.

Scoring averages relative to par from Round 1

  • North Course: -2.27
  • South Course: +0.23

2023 Farmers Insurance Open updated odds and forecasts

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook

  • Taylor Montgomery: 4/21
  • Justin Thomas: 2/17
  • Sungjae Im: 10-1
  • Colin Morikawa: 10-1
  • Will Zalatoris: 35/2
  • Max time: 35/2
  • Jon Rahm: 20-1
  • Sahith Theegala: 20-1
  • Aaron Rai: 22-1
  • Jason Day: 22-1
  • Si Woo Kim: 23-1
  • Ben Griffin: 25-1

I just want to take a moment to appreciate Rahm at 20-1 with better odds than the man he trails by nine shots. Yes, there is a long way to go in this tournament, but I no longer think Rahm will get the third straight title from him. Instead, I look at Homa at 35/2. His round was somewhat disappointing, but I like his game in difficult conditions. A couple of guys in front of him on the odds board, Im and Morikawa, tend to struggle with the wind, so there’s room to move up from the 4-under number he’s at despite the big names. .

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