LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA | Though the PGA Tour season may have technically started with an early morning tee shot at the Safeway Open in the California wine country last September, it feels like it really begins this week along the cliffs at Torrey Pines.
Not to dismiss the eye candy and spectacular scoring from the previous three weeks in Hawaii and Palm Springs, but the Farmers Insurance Open has become a milepost of sorts in the tour schedule, a subtle ratcheting up in importance and impact as the golf year gathers momentum.
For years, this is where Tiger Woods started his season. But another back procedure has sidelined him this year. Still, while the paragliders drift on the ocean breezes, a return to Torrey Pines feels right, even if there are no fans and the pandemic protocols remain a priority.
Rory McIlroy flew from Abu Dhabi to San Diego to play this week. Even if you’re flying private, that’s more than 8,400 miles in the air, halfway around the world according to the time zone clock. There’s a reason he did that.
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