Stewart Cink in control as Tiger Woods steers steady course

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 January, 2014, 10:24am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 January, 2014, 10:24am


Stewart Cink, seeking his first win since his 2009 British Open triumph, fired an eight-under 64 on Thursday to take the first-round lead at the US PGA Farmers Insurance Open in La Jolla, California.

Cink’s bogey-free round on the Torrey Pines North Course, the easier of the two layouts in use for the tournament, gave him a one-shot lead over fellow American Gary Woodland, whose 65 on the North Course included an eagle and five birdies.

Australians Jason Day and Marc Leishman, South African Tyrone van Aswegen, and American Jim Herman shared third on 66.

American Pat Perez’s 67 was the best of the day on Torrey’s tougher South Course and left him tied for seventh alongside South Korea’s Bae Sang-moon, and D.A. Points.

Defending champion Tiger Woods, seeking a ninth career title at Torrey Pines, had two birdies and two bogeys in an even-par 72 on the South Course, which played almost four shots harder than the North on average.

Woods’ eight prior victories at Torrey Pines include his 2008 US Open triumph. That was his 14th major title, and his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors has been stalled there ever since.

Woods has won the US PGA Tour event at Torrey seven times, and a victory this week would give him a third US PGA Tour event in which he owns eight titles. Woods has won both the Arnold Palmer Invitational and World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational eight titles.

Local favourite Phil Mickelson carded a 69 on the North Course while battling a stiff back.

“I just think I’m getting old,” Mickelson said. “If I overdo it it just gets a little tight.”