Woods opens with 69 at Torrey Pines
Tiger Woods had his lowest opening round of the year since 2011. It wasn’t enough to be among the leaders Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open, but it was fine with him. Coming off his recordtying 82nd victory in his last PGA Tour start three months ago in Japan, Woods handled the par 5s on the easier North Course at Torrey Pines and limited mistakes for a 3-under 69.
SAN DIEGO — Tiger Woods had his lowest opening round of the year since 2011. It wasn’t enough to be among the leaders Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open, but it was fine with him.
Coming off his record-tying 82nd victory in his last PGA Tour start three months ago in Japan, Woods handled the par 5s on the easier North Course at Torrey Pines and limited mistakes for a 3-under 69.
Sebastian Cappelen and Keegan Bradley had the low scores of the opening round, which was not the same as sharing the lead. Cappelen had eight birdies for a 66 on the South Course, which played about three shots tougher than the North, where Bradley shot his 66.
Rory McIlroy, who played in the group in front of Woods, was among those at 67. Jon Rahm, playing alongside Woods, was in the large group at 68.
Woods hasn’t broken 70 in his first round of the year since a 69 on the North at Torrey in 2011. His health, his game and even his momentum are in much better shape now. His game wasn’t all that far off.
“It was nice to kind of keep the round going a little bit,” Woods said. “Overall, pleased to shoot something in the 60s today.”
It took a little time to get going. He left himself in a bad shot right of the green on the par5 10th to start his round and failed to make birdie. His flop shot from 50 yards short of the green on the next hole came up short and into a bunker, leading to a bogey. He was even par at the turn on a course where lower scores are expected.
Even so, there was little drama. The best views were of the still waters of the Pacific below on a magnificent day. The biggest roars, as usual, belonged to the Navy jets above.
Woods kept it simple, with a nifty wedge to short range on his 10th hole, a two-putt birdie from 18 feet on the par-5 fifth and an easy up-and-down for birdie on the final hole.
“I could probably, maybe could have gotten one or two more out of my round today,” Woods said. “But overall, I felt like it was a good start, especially going into the South Course. I don’t know what the guys did on the South Course in relation to the North, but I felt like the golf course was certainly gettable today.”
Bubba Watson had a 67 on the South, while three other players broke 70 on the South, which hosted the U.S. Open in 2008 and gets another U.S. Open next year.
Woods has won this event seven times, not including his 2008 U.S. Open title or the Junior World when he was a teenager. At stake this week is a chance to set the PGA Tour career victories record with No. 83 on the first course where his father took him to watch a PGA Tour event.
Rahm, who got married in Spain before Christmas and has another wedding in San Diego next month for his bride’s American family and friends, was 4 under through eight holes until he stalled.
Along for the ride was Collin Morikawa, who wasn’t even born when Woods made his pro debut. The 22-year-old Morikawa shot 70.
EARLY LEAD Sebastian Cappelen of Denmark plays his shot from the second tee on the Torrey Pines South Course during the first round of The Farmers Insurance golf tournament in San Diego on Thursday.