Stewart Cink ran off 3 straight birdies coming home in the first round at Torrey Pines and the Farmers Insurance Open Thursday. Cink birdied 15, 16 and 17 to better Gary Woodland by one shot with an -8/64. Woodland, also on the North Course, is at -7/65.
“You want to really take advantage of the North Course because it will yield to you a little bit, and the South Course will not,” Cink said.
The best round belonged to Pat Perez. Perez who was on the South Course that was host to the 2008 U.S. Open. With greens so firm this year it felt like a major. Perez had a 67, the best score on the South by two shots, and even more astounding is he played the round bogey-free.
Phil Mickelson, meanwhile felt awful coping with a back that had locked up on him. Unusual for Mickelson because he doesn’t have a history of back pain. At least he’s not far from home and in his own bed this week. It got so bad at one point that Mickelson thought about withdrawing from his hometown event, especially after his 4-iron on the par-5 18th at the North Course nearly went out-of-bounds. Mickelson used his short game to make birdie, and then made another birdie on the next hole as he managed to scratch out a -3/69.
Tiger Woods didn’t come close to claiming Thursday. The seven-time Farmers Insurance Open champion failed to break par in the opening round for first time in his career.
Post first round for Team New England Keegan Bradley is -3/69 playing the North Course, James Driscoll -1/71 on the South Course, Scott Stallings E/72 on the South Course, Jim Renner +2/74 on the North Course and J.J. Henry on the South Course is +5/77.