LA JOLLA – The 64th annual Farmers Insurance Open teeing off Thursday will mark the end of an era at Torrey Pines.
It will be the last time professional golfers play the Torrey Pines north course in its current design. After the tournament, the course will get a $12.6 million renovation.
The renovation will include shortening the course, making the greens bigger and redoing all the bunkers. Work will close the north course through the fall, after the new grass takes hold.
Designer Tom Weiskopf, who won the very first pro tournament held here at Torrey, says the goal is to make the north course more enjoyable for the average golfer.
"We can't think about the guys that are going to play it one time on either Thursday or Friday. It's the 90,000-plus people. We have to get them around, we have to make it enjoyable, we have to make it beautiful,” Weiskopf said.
Part of the redesign will remove at least five acres of turf in order to save water.
The biggest names in golf will face off for the $6.5 million purse, including last year’s winner Jason Day. Past champions in the field include San Diego-native Phil Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker, Ben Crane and Nick Watney. Rick Fowler (world ranked No. 4), Justin Rose (No. 7), Dustin Johnson (No. 8) and Patrick Reed (No. 10) will also be competing. The winner gets a $1.17 million payday.
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Noticeably absent will be current world No. 1 golfer Jordan Spieth and No. 3 ranked Rory McIlroy. Seven-time Farmers winner Tiger Woods and 2011 winner Bubba Watson will also be absent.
Advanced five-day tickets are $150 or $40 per day. Tickets purchased at the gate are $50. Teens age 13-17 get in for $10 on any day. Daily tickets for those 60 and over are $35.
The Zurich Pro-Am will kick off the festivities Wednesday. The opening round begins at 9 a.m.