Farmers Insurance Open without Tiger Woods



by ANDREA GUSSONI

Farmers Insurance Open without Tiger Woods
© Getty Images Sport - Mike Ehrmann / Staff

The Farmers Insurance Open is a golf tournament that is part of the West Coast Swing and is known for its history linked to celebrities such as Andy Williams, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. In the past, the tournament was associated with these Hollywood celebrities.

Andy Williams' tournament now bears the name "Farmers Insurance Open". Bob Hope became the "godfather" of the tournament, now known as the "American Express". The "Clambake" (fish barbecue) organized by Bing Crosby over time became the iconic AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach.

Andy Williams was a music icon, known for his interpretations of two iconic musical pieces: "Born Free" by John Barry and Don Black, the award-winning soundtrack to the 1966 film "Born Free", and "Moon River", the memorable theme from "Breakfast at Tiffany's" written by Henry Mancini.

Farmers Insurance Open, results

From 1968 to 1988, Andy Williams was the face of the tournament, which has had a long list of title sponsors over the years. Prior to his involvement, the event was known as the San Diego Open.

Williams' immense popularity helped establish the San Diego Open (later to become the Andy Williams Open/Farmers Insurance Open) as a regular event on the PGA Tour calendar at Torrey Pines. Prior to that, the San Diego Open frequently moved between various golf courses.

The tournament was hosted at the San Diego Country Club from 1952 to 1953, at the Rancho Santa Fe Club in Rancho Santa Fe, California, from 1954 to 1955, at the Mission Valley Country Club from 1956 to 1961, with a stint at Singing Hills Country Club in El Cajon, also in California, in 1958.

Finally, in 1968, the tournament found its permanent home in Torrey Pines, where it is still held today. Torrey Pines has two courses, with the first 36 holes split between the North and South courses. On weekends, the tournament is played on the South course, although some locals consider the North course to be the most playable and most beautiful.

The tournament was sponsored by Buick from 1992 to 2009, but following the difficulties of the auto industry and the government bailout of General Motors, the sponsorship became less sustainable. In 2010, Farmers Insurance became the title sponsor.

Although many expected Tiger Woods to return to this tournament, he will not be present. Most likely, we will see him at Genesis. Tiger Woods dominated the Farmers Insurance Open, winning the tournament a record seven times, in 1999, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2013, in addition to a historic victory in the 2008 US Open.

Andy Williams has won 18 gold and 2 platinum records during his musical career. His television variety show ran from 1962 to 1971 and he was the host of the Grammy Awards 13 times. A lifelong golf enthusiast, Williams passed away in 2012 at the age of 84.

Tiger Woods