Tony Finau fired a 7-under 65 in the opening round of the Farmers Insurance Open and will take a one-shot lead into Friday’s second day in La Jolla, California.
The 28-year old long-bomber, who played the North Course at Torrey Pines, finished his first 18 holes with a pair of bogeys against nine birdies, highlighted by a final one on the 18th to sign for the day’s low round.
“I got off to a great start and just kind of was able to ride that momentum,” said Finau.
“The meat of the golf course is in the middle of the course where you really have to get after it. 5 through 11 you’ve really got to score. I got some numbers before that so I was able to kind of cruise through those holes and pick up a couple more, so I am really pleased with the way I played today.”
One back at 6-under par is the duo of Ted Potter Jr. and Ryan Palmer, who carded matching bogey-free 66s on the South Course.
Defending champion Jon Rahm headlines a logjam of 11 players that sit T4 at 4 under. After a bogey on the 12th, Rahm was just 1 under, but three birdies down the stretch got the young Spaniard to 68.
“I’m extremely pleased with the result, especially I’m really happy about the way I finished. You know, the last six or seven holes I hit the ball really well,” said Rahm.
Justin Rose leads group of another 20 players tied for 15th at 3 under. Three-time tournament winner Phil Mickelson posted a 2-under 70 and sits T35, alongside 27 others.
Tiger Woods made his return to the PGA Tour with an even-par 72. The 14-time major champion finished with three birdies against three bogeys.
“It was fun, it was fun to compete again. It was fun to be out there. We had a great pairing today. Pat (Reed) played great, Charley (Hoffman) was solid all day and I was probably a little bit rusty,” said Woods.
Two other tournament headliners, Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama, also shot 72 on Thursday. Jason Day struggled to a 1-over 73 (T113).
1 Tony Finau -7
2 Ted Potter Jr. -6
2 Ryan Palmer -6
4 Roberto Diaz -5
5 Hunter Mahan -4
5 Francesco Molinari -4
5 Julian Suri -4
5 Tom Lovelady -4
5 Peter Uihlein -4
5 Rory Sabbatini -4
5 Sang-Moon Bae -4
5 Jon Rahm -4
5 Grayson Murray -4
5 Patrick Reed -4
“I’m hitting it nicely. I look forward to playing the South, a golf course where I can use my length to my advantage so hopefully I keep hitting it well off the tee. I know I can score on that golf course. You’ve got to keep it in the fairway on both courses and I’m happy I did that today.”
– Tony Finau
Credits: Getty Images, PGA Tour Media