The First Round Leader (FRL) market is fascinating given there are many ways to review the data to hand.
How does the weather forecast impact conditions? Will it be softer earlier, firmer later, windier for some, warmer for others? What tee times have the recent FRL winners had? Have the recent FRL winners started well here in the past? Have the recent FRL winners started well in their recent events; have they even been playing well in recent events?
Lots of questions and the odd red herring along the way I’m sure, however I think there are a few factors to consider which might help point us in the right direction.
First up the weather: The latest weather forecast for Torrey Pines is here.
Thursday looks set fair for the whole day at Torrey Pines, with long sunny spells and temperatures reaching the low-70s Fahrenheit. The very early starters may get an hour or so of very light winds, however it’s not expected to get beyond 10mph all day so at this point in time the draw looks fairly even.
In terms of history, we have 2 angles of attack this week given that the US Open moves around from course to course, so US Open FRL history and Farmers Insurance Open FRL history can both be studied using our stats sheets.
Looking at the US Open history first, going back to 2011 the morning wave has produced 9 of the 14 players who either led or co-led after day 1 in this event.
The exceptions to the rule were Rory McIlroy who shot 65 to lead on his own in 2011; Martin Kaymer who equalled that score 3 years later; Scott Piercy and Ian Poulter who tied for the lead with Dustin Johnson and Russell Henley courtesy of rounds of 69 in 2018; and Justin Rose who shot 65 in 2019 from an afternoon tee time at Pebble Beach.
We do of course have a 2008 US Open renewal held here at Torrey Pines to study too. Kevin Streelman and Justin Hicks shared the 18-hole lead with opening rounds of 68. Streelman had an afternoon tee time (12.41pm), whereas Hicks was one of the earliest starters at 7.11am. Rocco Mediate, Geoff Ogilvy, Eric Axley and Stuart Appleby were a shot shy of the lead after the first round; 3 of the 4 players had morning tee times, suggesting that, as per US Open history in general, a morning start is marginally preferred.
The Farmers Insurance Open stats need to be taken with a pinch of salt as players can start on either the North or South Course and with the North Course typically playing far easier, numbers can be skewed.
As per the outright market, there’s some each-way value to be found in the FRL market too with Boylesports, Paddy Power and Betfair offering 8 places each way, 1/5 odds for this market. Details of their new customer offers are below: