Billy Horschel fires a 63 to seize the initiative at Torrey Pines

Jon Rahm three off the lead after a rollercoaster opening round at the Farmers

Billy Horschel has the first round lead at Torrey Pines. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

Billy Horschel has the first round lead at Torrey Pines. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

 

Billy Horschel opened with a sizzling nine-under 63 on Wednesday to take a one-shot lead at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.

Playing the North Course, Horschel carded a clean round with nine birdies to grab the 18-hole lead.

Michael Thompson shot eight under to sit alone in second place. Kevin Tway and Germany’s Stephan Jaeger shot matching 65s to sit two shots back in third.

Four golfers, including world No 1 Jon Rahm, are tied in fifth at six under, three shots back.

Horschel opened with birdies on the first two holes, despite not being sure if he would be able to play when he woke up Wednesday. The 35-year-old said he has been dealing with a stiff upper back since the Sony Open.

“Still a little worried when I woke up this morning and it felt pretty good. Thankfully all the work we’ve done and everything I felt, it never got any tighter,” Horschel said. “It’s actually felt like it’s a little bit looser right now. ... I didn’t know if I was even going to tee it up today when I woke up. Even when I was hitting balls, I still wasn’t sure whether I was going to tee it up.”

Thompson also posted a clean round, finishing just one birdie shy of the leader while also playing the North Course.

“It’s shorter, I think the rough is a little bit lighter on the North, and you just know you’re going to have to take advantage because the South course can beat you up,” Thompson said. “I was really quite surprised with how I played today because my practice leading up into today wasn’t that great. ... Something clicked and I made a bunch of putts and I was hitting my lines, so nothing to complain about.”

Jon Rahm opened with a 66 in the Farmers Insurance Open. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA
Jon Rahm opened with a 66 in the Farmers Insurance Open. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

Defending champion Patrick Reed opened on the South Course and shot even-par 72. He’s tied in 96th after two birdies and two bogeys. Hideki Matsuyama is right there with him after his first 18 on the South Course.

Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Xander Schaufele are all tied for 31st after shooting four-under 68s.

Rahm posted a chaotic round on the South Course. The Spaniard opened with three birdies on the front nine but carded two bogeys coming in to go with three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 18th. Rahm won the US Open at Torrey Pines in 2021.

“The conditions were relatively easy. I mean, there’s not much wind, but you’ve still got to play this golf course,” Rahm said. “I hit it great off the tee, put myself in really good positions, and the few times I was off, for the most part I was able to give myself a chance to save the hole so I think that was the key.”

Collated first round scores in the USPGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open,Torrey Pines (South), San Diego, California, United States of America (USA unless stated, Par: North Course 72, South Course 72):

63 Billy Horschel

64 Michael Thompson

65 Stephan Jaeger (Ger), Kevin Tway

66 Rickie Fowler, Doug Ghim, Francesco Molinari (Ita), Jon Rahm (Spa)

67 Daniel Berger, Sam Burns, Tony Finau, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa), Michael Gligic (Can), Bill Haas, Nick Hardy, Martin Laird (Sco), Luke List, Peter Malnati, Maverick McNealy, Ryan Palmer, Chengtsung Pan (Tai), Taylor Pendrith (Can), Aaron Rai (Eng), Justin Rose (Eng), Austin Smotherman, Robert Streb, Sahith Theegala, Cameron Tringale, Aaron Wise, Cameron Young

68 Cameron Davis (Aus), Max Homa, Dustin Johnson, David Lipsky, Matthew NeSmith, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas

69 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa), Wyndham Clark, Chesson Hadley, Tom Hoge, Ben Kohles, Joaquin Niemann (Chi), Guillermo Mito Pereira (Chi), Seth Reeves, Adam Schenk, Scott Stallings, Brian Stuard, Jimmy Walker, Will Zalatoris, Jonathan Byrd, Mark Hubbard

70 Jonas Blixt (Swe), Keegan Bradley, Bronson Burgoon, Jason Day (Aus), Bryson DeChambeau, Brandon Hagy, Mackenzie Hughes (Can), Sung Jae Im (Kor), Patton Kizzire, Brooks Koepka, Trey Mullinax, Alexander Noren (Swe), Chez Reavie, Davis Riley, Scottie Scheffler, Brandt Snedeker, Jordan Spieth, Kevin Streelman, Hudson Swafford, Curtis Thompson, Camilo Villegas (Col), Brandon Wu, Dylan Wu

71 Hayden Buckley, Brett Drewitt (Aus), Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Scott Gutschewski, Jim Herman, Matt Jones (Aus), Si Woo Kim (Kor), Anirban Lahiri (Ind), Marc Leishman (Aus), Andrew Novak, Chad Ramey, Patrick Rodgers, Rory Sabbatini (Svk), Peter Uihlein, Dawie van der Walt (Rsa), Jhonattan Vegas (Ven), Matthew Wolff, Chun-An Yu (Tai), Brent Grant, Austin Eckroat

72 Austin Cook, Brice Garnett, James Hahn, Kamaiu Johnson, Kurt Kitayama, Adam Long, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Taylor Montgomery, Carlos Ortiz (Mex), Pat Perez, Scott Piercy, Patrick Reed, Greyson Sigg, David Skinns (Eng), Adam Svensson (Can), Gary Woodland, Jim Knous

73 Joseph Bramlett, Kevin Chappell, Jason Dufner, Talor Gooch, Lanto Griffin, Adam Hadwin (Can), Seung-Yul Noh (Kor), Alex Smalley, J. J. Spaun, Sepp Straka (Aut), Nick Taylor (Can), Jared Wolfe, Beau Hossler

74 Joel Dahmen, Harry Higgs, Sung-Hoon Kang (Kor), Hank Lebioda, Max McGreevy, Keith Mitchell, Sebastian Munoz (Col), Henrik Norlander (Swe), Doc Redman, Nick Watney

75 Cameron Champ, Corey Conners (Can), Justin Lower, Taylor Moore, J. T. Poston

76 Michael Block, Lee Hodges, Danny Lee (Nzl), Phil Mickelson

77 Ryan Alford, Paul Barjon (Fra), Tyler McCumber, Martin Trainer, Richy Werenski, Vincent Whaley, Jared du Toit (Can)

79 Maxwell Sear (Can)

80 Sam Ryder, Kyle Stanley, Callum Tarren (Eng)

81 Joshua Creel

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