Thompson one clear in California

Nicholas Thompson claimed the lead at the Farmers Insurance Open as he fired a 64 in the opening round in California on Thursday.

Thompson was one clear of the field at eight under-par before play was suspended due to darkness.

Thompson, the older brother of LPGA-star Lexi, missed the cut in Phoenix last week but has turned things around nicely and will be hoping to go and capture his first PGA Tour victory.

Michael Thompson, who is no relation to the leader, is one stroke off the pace, with Brooks Koepka a further shot back.

Koepka is joined by Cameron Tringale on six under.

Ian Poulter, Chad Campbell, Freddie Jacobson, Jhonattan Vegas, Brendon de Jonge and Chris Kirk share fifth place on five under par.

Play for the first two rounds is spread over the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, while with the final two rounds will be played on the South Course.

The start of play was delayed an hour, then shortly after the round began, the fog rolled back in and play was halted again.

Though Thompson played superbly, all eyes were on Tiger Woods, who had to withdraw due to injury.

The seven-time winner of this event withdrew after 11 holes due to a stiff back.

Meanwhile Dustin Johnson, who was making his first tour start since last year’s Canadian Open and whose absence was shrouded in rumours of an unconfirmed drugs ban, was two over par with one hole to play in his first round on the South Course.

Leadear Thompson got off to a flying start as he made eagle on the par-5 first on the North Course before carding a birdie on the second.

He then made birdies on the ninth and 10th before dropping a shot on the par-3 12th.

He would add four more birdies on his way to the clubhouse.

“I played a really good round. I missed maybe one or two fairways, I think I missed only one green and hit a lot of good golf shots,” said Thompson.

“Even the shots that were played safe, I hit them to the right spots.

“I had a lot of good looks. I didn’t make many long putts, I made a 20-footer on the first for eagle. After that, I had a lot of good opportunities.”