Farmers Intrigue: Tiger Is Back, Rory Returns For The First Time, The Rough Is Up And Defender Day Is Ready

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The Farmers Insurance Open returns to Torrey Pines with stout rough and even better weather forecast.

While it’s a bit silly to enlist Tiger Woods as a favorite here given the strong recent play of Torrey lovers like Jon Rahm, Marc Leishman, Tony Finau and even defender Jason Day. We debated that notion as Woods kicks off his campaign and having not seen his game when bickering with Matt Adams, I now revise my assessment. He showed no signs of rust and appears to have the same rhythm and swing confidence as he did by the second half of 2018.

As Dan Kilbridge notes in this Golfweek assessment, Wood is mentally refreshed after overloading from a playoff and Ryder Cup run last year. If the putter cooperates, look out.

Woods is also sporting a lot of new clubs in the bag.

Rory McIlroy actually was going to play the Junior World here and even took part in ceremonies before not playing, so he only played Torrey Pines for the first time Wednesday. The course is different than he thought it would be, writes Rex Hoggard.

But as Steve DiMeglio notes, McIlroy’s issues on recent Sundays will be thought about by most. Just not Rory.

I also penned this short item on McIlroy’s views of Hosung Choi and whether he should have received a sponsor’s invite to Pebble Beach.

Jason Day’s relaxed and confident approach makes the defending champion here dangerous, as does a change in irons after a disastrous 2018 campaign approaching the greens.

Here is our Golfweek preview of all things Farmers, including telecast times and more.

And my look at the rough, which is going to play a huge role as it did in 2018: