SAN DIEGO – If Tiger Woods is to win for a record ninth time at Torrey Pines, he’ll have to mount his biggest comeback yet.
Woods struggled off the tee Thursday on the difficult South Course, mixing two birdies with a pair of bogeys en route to an even-par start in the Farmers Insurance Open.
After an opening 72, Woods finds himself eight shots back of first-round leader Stewart Cink, who shot 64 on the North Course.
Woods has never opened with worse than 71 in any of his seven wins in this event. In five of those wins, he began the week with a round in the 60s.
On Thursday, Woods hit half the fairways and only 11 greens. On the 12th hole, he sank a critical 16-footer for par to stay 1 over for the day, then tacked on a birdie at 14 to return to even par. In 52 career rounds in this event, Woods has recorded an over-par score only three times.
When Woods heads to the North Course on Friday, he should find a track that will play decidedly easier. On Day 1, the North played to a scoring average of 70.474, while the South checked in at 74.315.