Among the dozens of affairs that came out during the Tiger scandal, one affair that wasn’t mentioned was that with Torrey.
Located on the West Coast of the US, Torrey and Tiger have had an ongoing relationship since 1998. In that time, Tiger has visited Torrey on an annual basis around this time of year and often left with a massive smile on his face and a massive… check in his pocket.
I am, of course, talking about Torrey Pines, host to this week’s Farmers Insurance Open and Tiger Woods first event of 2014.
Tiger once said ”Once we figure out what courses we like, we tend to play those.” I have a feeling there are fewer place in the world Tiger likes more than Torrey Pines.
His success at Torrey Pines is fairly incredible and he heads there this week with a good chance of becoming the second player to win 80 PGA Tour events, and the first to win 9 PGA Tour events at one course.
At 38 years old, Woods has 79 PGA Tour victories. He’s picked up those 79 wins at 25 different events. A closer look at those 25 events tells you that he’s actually won an event multiple times (18) more than twice as much as he’s won an event just once (7).
It seems local/course knowledge is one of the keys to Tiger’s success.
In fact, the last time Tiger won a non-Major/WGC event at a course he was playing for the first time was 16 years ago, at the 1998 BellSouth Classic.
Dive deeper into his 79 PGA wins and you’ll see that more than 30% of Tiger’s wins (24) have come on just three courses: Torrey Pines, Firestone and Bay Hill. Add together Tiger’s career earnings at those three venues and Tiger would rank 23rd on the career money list with more than $26.7m in earnings.
But back to Tiger and Torrey.
On Thursday, Tiger will tee it up at Torrey Pines for 15th time. In his previous 14 visits, Tiger has won 8 times and finished outside the top-10 just once. His wins include 7 Farmers Insurance Open (formerly the Buick Invitational) titles and one US Open in 2008.
To put that in perspective, Tiger has more wins at Torrey Pines (8 in 14 events) than Rory McIlroy has in his PGA Tour career (6 in 71 events).
Tiger’s played against 2,159 players at Torrey Pines, and beaten 2,081 of them. That is a win percentage of 96.39%.
When it comes to Woods love affair with Torrey it appears, for Tiger at least, it was love at first sight. In his first 11 visits to Torrey Pines, he carded 30 rounds in the 60s, compared with just one over-par round.
In 56 total rounds on either the South or North Course, Woods is 174-under par with a stroke average of 68.80. His numbers suggest he is more likely to shoot 67 or less (18 times) than 71 or higher (16 times).
His earnings at Torrey Pines are pretty staggering:
$8,195,096 in total earnings
$585,364 per event
$146,341 per round
$8,106 per hole*
$2,120 per shot
So, is PGA Tour win No. 80 just a few days away?
These numbers would suggest yes and bookies have Tiger as a heavy 5/2 favourite. With a career winning percentage at Torrey Pines of 57%, it is maybe a surprise his odds are not lower.
With only Sam Snead ahead of him on the all-time PGA Tour wins list, Woods will look to get within two wins of the record this week. Snead won his 80th PGA Tour title in 1960 aged 47. Tiger would be in good-standing if he could home this year’s Farmer’s Insurance Open on Sunday, at the age of just 38.
Tune in this weekend to see if another photo of Tiger and Torrey will be added to the record books.