The sights and sounds of the Farmers Insurance Open make it one of the most popular stops for fans on the PGA Tour. If you’re trapped in a freezing house in the Northeast Corridor or somewhere in the midwest, the unending sunshine coming off the Pacific Ocean on a gorgeous course in HDTV means that better weather can’t be that far behind.
And for decades, the tournament has been during the bye week of NFL football between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. But with a 17th game added to the NFL this season, the calendar changed on the PGA Tour broadcast partners as well. The Farmers has been on CBS as the primary broadcaster for years, but so is the AFC Championship Game.
So the Farmers decided to continue on the same weekend, but moved the tournament to a Wednesday-Saturday affair instead of the normal Thursday-Sunday rotation. This will be the only PGA event on this year’s schedule to start on a Wednesday and finish on Saturday, and it looks like this might be the model every year going forward according to tournament CEO Marty Gorsich.
So while there’s short turn around from the American Express in Palm Springs the week before, it’s just a couple hours drive for the players which makes things easier. And the best in the world don’t seem to mind with plenty of big names making the trip across I-10 and down I-15.
12 of the Top 20 players via the World Golf Rankings entered this weekend, including World No. 1 Jon Rahm who is in contention to win on Saturday.