Farmers Insurance Open Day 3

LA JOLLA (KUSI) – Tiger Woods enters Friday’s second round of the $7.5 million Farmers Insurance Open three strokes off the lead in his first opportunity to be the PGA Tour’s winningest player.

Woods shot a 3-under-par 69 on Torrey Pines Golf Course’s North Course Thursday in what he described as “a positive start.”

Woods began his round on the 10th hole. He bogeyed the second hole he played, the par-4 11th, but birdied the par-4 13th and par-5 17th. He completed the back nine with a bogey on the par-4 18th.

Woods birdied the par-4 first hole and the par-5 fifth and ninth holes on the front nine.

This was the eighth time Woods broke 70 in the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open. Of seven previous times, he went on to win five times.

Woods is among 13 golfers tied for 21st. PGA Tour rookie Sebastian Cappelen of Denmark and American Keegan Bradley share the lead at 6-under-par 66, one stroke ahead of eight players, including Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson.

Woods will begin play Friday on the first tee of the South Course at 10:40 a.m. The South Course played three strokes tougher than the North Course on Friday with an average score of 73.692, compared to 70.718 for the North Course.

Of the 20 rounds of 68 or better Thursday, 16 were on the North Course.

The Farmers Insurance Open is Woods’ first official PGA Tour event since winning the Zozo Championship Oct. 27 to tie Sam Snead’s record of 82 victories.

Since the Zozo Championship, Woods played in two unofficial events — finishing fourth in the Hero World Challenge and winning all three of his matches at the Presidents Cup, helping the U.S. to a 16-14 victory over the International Team.

The 29-year-old Cappelen had five birdies and a bogey on the South Course’s front nine and three birdies and a bogey on the back nine to take or share a lead after any round on the PGA Tour for the second time. He held the first-round lead in the 2014 Sanderson Farms Championship, his first round on the PGA Tour, en route to tying for 35th as an amateur.

Cappelen is coming off his first Top 10 finish on the PGA Tour, tying for sixth in last week’s The American Express.

Cappelen played college golf at Arkansas and turned professional immediately after the 2014 NCAA Championship. He earned his spot on the PGA Tour by finishing 16th on the developmental Korn Ferry Tour regular season points list in 2019.

Bradley had one of Thursday’s five bogey-free rounds, all on the North Course. He started his round on the back nine, birdieing the 10th, 11th and 15th holes. He had an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole and a birdie on the par-3 eighth.

“I just played really, really well all day,” said Bradley, who is seeking his fifth PGA Tour victory and first since the 2018 BMW Championship. “I didn’t particularly feel that comfortable with myself the whole day, but I just really just hung in there and hit a lot of good shots … made a really good par putt on my 11th that kind of kept me going.”

The field will be reduced to the low 70 plus ties following completion of the second round. The final two rounds will be played on the South Course.

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