SAN DIEGO – Looking to defend the title he won here a year ago, Brandt Snedeker opened with a 7-under 65 and sits atop the leaderboard with K.J. Choi after the first round at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Playing on the South Course, Tiger Woods opened with an eventful 4-under 68, a round that included a double bogey and an eagle to go along with six other birdies. Woods was within a shot of the lead on the back nine before closing with two bogeys across his final four holes.
Beginning play on the easier North Course, Snedeker reeled off four straight birdies in the middle of his round and did not drop a shot Thursday.
'It was a great day,' said Snedeker. 'I drove the ball really well, didn't make too many mistakes, and when I did, my putter saved me.'
Choi, playing on the South Course, sandwiched a bogey on the par-4 17th around five birdies on his final six holes of the day. The pair lead by one shot over a large group at 6 under, as fair weather created ideal scoring conditions on both courses.
On a day when many players scored well, Phil Mickelson struggled to an even-par 72 on the North Course. Four birdies for Lefty were undone by four bogeys, as Mickelson never got more than one shot under par during his round.
'I didn't play the best. I hit it poorly, I putted poorly,' he said after the round. 'The golf course is in great shape, the greens are as firm as I've ever seen them, and I'll see if I can get it going tomorrow.'
Among the group one shot off the pace at 6 under are Charles Howell III, who already has a pair of top-3 finishes this season, and Mike Weir, who is looking to end a drought of epic proportions. The former Masters champion will tee it up Friday hoping to make the cut in a PGA Tour event for the first time since the 2011 AT&T National.