Tiger Woods fires three-under-par 69 in opening round at Farmers Insurance Open

January 23, 2020

Tiger Woods is making his 2020 PGA Tour debut at the Farmers Insurance Open this week, and anticipation for his first-round performance has been through the roof.

The Big Cat is coming off an epic late-2019 stretch, which began in October when he triumphed at the Zozo Championship to match Sam Snead’s victory total of 82. He then went on to contend during the final round of his Hero World Challenge before finishing his competitive year at the Presidents Cup, where Team USA triumphed, and Woods had an undefeated match-play record (3-0) as the first playing captain since Hale Irwin in 1994.

Woods has seven career victories at the Farmers Insurance Open, and eight at Torrey Pines as a venue, if you include his 2008 U.S. Open win. He entered the week as a 12/1 favorite, behind only Rory McIlroy (7/1) and Jon Rahm (9/1).

Woods started his round on the Torrey Pines’ North Course’s back nine, and a bogey on No. 11 put him on the wrong side of par early. A birdie on No. 13 brought him back to even par on the day, and three steady pars followed. Then, a kick-in birdie on the par-5 17th brought Woods to one under par through his opening eight holes. Unfortunately, two lost shots to the right on No. 18 resulted in a bogey that brought him back to even par for his first nine.

The good news for Tiger? His second nine (the front) was much steadier. An approach to inside of 10 feet set up Woods with a makeable birdie putt on No. 1, which he drained. Three more pars followed, then on the par-5 5th, a gorgeous iron approach set up an eagle opportunity of approximately 15 feet. Woods missed, but his tap-in birdie brought him to two under par on the day. Another three pars followed, highlighted by a seven-foot up-and-down save for par on the par-3 8th, after his tee shot found the bunker.

On Woods’ final hole, the par-5 9th, he made it to the edge of the green in two and chipped it to four feet. Woods then drained the putt for a final birdie to punctuate a round of three-under-par 69, which placed him inside the top 20 at the time of his finish.

Woods begins his second round at 1:40 p.m. ET on the first tee of the South course on Friday, alongside his first round playing companions, Collin Morikawa and Jon Rahm.

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