Tiger Woods making his first start of the 2019 calendar year was quickly overshadowed by the same man who took him down three months ago at the Ryder Cup: Jon Rahm.
Teeing off just over an hour ahead of Woods, Rahm eagled his first hole of the day, the par-5 10th on the North Course at Torrey Pines, and birdied two of his next five holes to get to 4-under par before Woods had even had a chance to locate a scoreboard on the South Course during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open.
“You play the South on the first day, you’re trying to survive,” Rahm said. “On the North, you’ve got to start under par to keep up. I kept the pedal down.”
And he did. Rahm made his second eagle of the day on the par-5 17th and birdied the 18th hole to turn in 7-under par 29. His breakneck pace was temporarily halted with a bogey on par-3 third hole, but he birdied four in a row after that to post a 10-under par 62.
“I don’t think you ever tee up on any course at Torrey Pines expecting to shoot 10-under par,” he said.
Jon Rahm shoots 62, tying his lowest round worldwide as a pro. He opened with 62 at last year’s Desert Classic and went on to win that week.
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) January 24, 2019
The 24-year-old Spaniard who was on track on Thursday. Jordan Spieth showed that tales of his demise were greatly exaggerated.
The three-time major champion looked more like his 2015 self on Thursday on the North Course. Spieth required just 22 putts to get around in 7-under par 65 to sit three shots back of Rahm heading into their second round around the tougher South Course.
Rahm holds a one-stroke lead over Justin Rose and Doug Ghim, both of whom played the North Course on Thursday. Jason Day shot 5-under par (North), Tiger Woods shot 2-under par (South) and Rory McIlroy shot 1-under par.