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2024 Farmers Insurance Open First-Round Leader Pick FRL Bet for Daniel Berger

  • Updated:2024-04-26 12:46    Views:199
  • Here's everything you need to know about the 2024 Farmers Insurance Open first-round leader pick — our expert FRL bet for this week's PGA Tour event.

    With The American Express in the rearview mirror, we now look forward to this week's Farmers Insurance Open in La Jolla, California. This unique event features a two-course rotation, as the golfers split the first two rounds between the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, while the remainder of the weekend is played solely on the South Course.

    The North Course is the easier of the two.

    Find my 2024 Farmers Insurance Open first-round leader pick below.

    2024 Farmers Insurance Open First-Round Leader PickDaniel Berger +5000 (bet365 | 0.5 Units)

    First-Round Tee Time: 12:23 p.m. ET

    As is always my strategy for targeting first-round leaders, I'm searching for golfers who tee off earlier in the day. The first wave almost always scores better than the second wave, which makes sense considering the greens firm up as the day progresses.

    The earlier a golfer tees off, the more soft greens they face, which are much more receptive to shots. The one objection to this general rule of thumb is when there is an expected weather change between the first and second waves, but that will not be the case today, as it's expected to be a perfect weather day from start to finish.

    This tournament is a little different because of the two-course rotation, which means the field is spread among two different venues. The North Course is the easier of the two, thus it is no coincidence that the first-round leader typically comes from that course.

    Last season, Sam Ryder, Aaron Rai and Brent Grant shared the lead after the first round and all three played on the North Course. That was also the case in 2022 and 2021.

    That brings us to Daniel Berger, who tees off with the fourth of 14 groups on the North Course. Berger made his highly anticipated return to the TOUR last week following a back injury that left him sidelined for nearly 19 months.

    He finished T39 among a much stronger field than he will face this week, but, most importantly, he finished 13th in true strokes gained on the approach. That is the key metric to look at this week, especially considering hitting greens here is a must given how difficult it is to putt on these Poa annua greens and escape the thick rough surrounding them.

    Last year, everyone who finished inside the top six ranked 12th or higher in strokes gained on the approach. Finally, the most common approach distance at this venue is 150-175 yards.

    In his last full season on TOUR prior to the back injury, Berger ranked second among all golfers in GIR% from that distance. Usually, I like to target two guys in this market. However, this week, I feel so strongly about Berger at 50/1 — compared to the rest of the market — that I had trouble finding better value in any other golfer.

    Some other guys worth considering are Collin Morikawa (+2000) and Ludvig Aberg (+2500), two of the best ball-strikers in this field. With that said, I didn't like the value at either of those numbers enough to pull the trigger.

    Lastly, for those interested, I am also playing the following outright winners:

    Sungjae Im (+2200 at FanDuel) – 1 UnitTony Finau (+2800 at BetMGM) – 0.75 UnitsLuke List (+8000 at FanDuel) – 0.25 Units

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