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Expert Picks: Farmers Insurance Open


Each week during the official PGA Tour season, CBSSports.com's Steve Elling and The Augusta Chronicle's Scott Michaux identify nine players to watch in three distinct categories -- favorites, tweeners and longshots. The picks are based on a combination of homework, guesswork and just plain instinct.

Last week, Elling nearly cracked the egg in the winners category. His under the radar pick, Bill Haas, advanced to a three-way playoff at the Bob Hope Classic, but could not outlast eventual winner Jhonny Vegas. He did finish with a pair of Top 10s and just one missed cut. Michaux struggled for a second week in a row, selecting just one top 25 finisher and three who missed the cut.

Note: Odds courtesy of Las Vegas Hilton Sports Book and/or Golfodds.com.

Pick Proficiency
Steve Elling Scott Michaux
Winners: 0
Top 10s: 8-for-27 (29.6%)
Top 25s: 15-for-27 (55.6%)
Missed Cuts: 2-for-18 (11.1%)
Winners: 0
Top 10s: 6-for-27 (22.2%)
Top 25s: 11-for-27 (40.7%)
Missed Cuts: 6-for-18 (33.3%)

On to this week's picks:

Elling's Picks Michaux's Picks
Tiger Woods Odds: (3/1)
He's won the last five times he's played at Torrey. Once on a broken leg. Could win here playing as a lefty.
Tiger Woods Odds: (3/1)
Hasn't won anywhere in the last year, but when was the last time he lost here? Answer: 2004 (career-worst T10).
Phil Mickelson Odds: (12/1)
There is absolutely nothing in his recent past here to suggest he will play well at Torrey. Good enough for me.
Nick Watney Odds: (25/1)
The 2009 winner during Tiger's rehab also has two other ties for 9th at Torrey. Just one missed cut since '10 Riviera.
Dustin Johnson Odds: (15/1)
Not much of a track record in three tries here -- best finish is T19. Maybe he'll pretend it's Pebble.
Charles Howell III Odds: (30/1)
West Coast rabbit should have won here in 2005 when his ball bounced out of the 18th hole and into the billabong.

Under the Radar
Elling's Picks Michaux's Picks
Robert Allenby Odds: (40/1)
If not for a flier lie that led to Sunday disaster, he might have won here last year. Was T9 in both 2007 and '10.
Jhonnathan Vegas Odds: (80/1)
Typically rookie winners don't back it up right away, but Venezuelan sensation was 6th in 2001 World Junior at Torrey.
Lucas Glover Odds: (50/1)
Hard-hitting Open champion finished T9 and T3 at Torrey in last two trips, so he sees something he likes.
Phil Mickelson Odds: (12/1)
Belongs in this category since he suffers from both jet lag and dislike of the Rees Jones rebuild of his home course.
Ben Crane Odds: (30/1)
The guy can play, as evidenced by two wins last year, including here at Torrey. Was T7 in 2009 as well.
Ben Crane Odds: (30/1)
In between viral video shoots, the scoreboard ignoring defending champ picked up a fall victory in Malaysia.

Dark Horses for Courses
Elling's Picks Michaux's Picks
Jamie Lovemark Odds: (no line)
Made cut here as an amateur and is a local kid. Led Nationwide in earnings last year.
Lucas Glover Odds: (50/1)
Career inconsistency mirrored at Torrey, where he has three top-10s and three MCs in seven starts.
Brandt Snedeker Odds: (60/1)
Underrated player flirted with 59 on North Course in 2008. Has pair of top-3 finishes in four starts at Torrey.
Ryuji Imada Odds: (40/1)
Runner-up to Tiger in 2008 has never missed a cut and has four straight top-20 finishes at Torrey.
Rickie Fowler Odds: (25/1)
Rookie of the year and SoCal native was T5 last year and made cut at Torrey as an amateur at 2008 U.S. Open.
Davis Love III Odds: (80/1)
Once a regular contender (and winner) here. Buoyed by good Hawaii start and Ryder Cup captain bump.


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