Cink leads as Woods struggles

US Tour

Stewart Cink made the most of the good conditions at the Torrey Pines North Course to take a one-shot lead at the Farmers Insurance Open while Tiger Woods struggled.

The 40-year-old, who is looking for his first victory since winning the Open Championship in 2009, got his campaign off with a flawless eight-under-par 64 for a narrow lead over Gary Woodland with Jason Day, Tyrone Van Aswegen, Marc Leishman and Jim Herman another shot off the pace.

After a 30-minute fog delay at the start, Cink kept it clean on his front nine as he picked up four shots, but he left the best bit for last as he made four birdies in his last six holes.

“You want to really take advantage of the North Course because it will yield to you a little bit, and the South Course will not,” the first-round leader said.

“I did a great job of going out there, just playing shot-by-shot, not really getting too caught up in, ‘I have to birdie these holes.’ As a consequence, I actually made a few birdies and it felt great.”

Woodland, also playing on the North Course, had an eagle and five birdies in his round while Australians Jason Day and Marc Leishman, Tyrone Van Aswegen from South Africa, and American Jim Herman share third after 66s.

American Pat Perez, who is tied for sixth with DA Points and Bae Sang-Moon on 67, produced the best score on the South Course where Wood struggled.

The world number one carded two birdies and two bogeys to finish the first round on even par, but he feels that’s not too bad considering the conditions.

“Even par is not too bad, but I didn’t play the par 5s worth a darn today,” Woods, who is looking for a ninth title at Torrey Pines, said off the difficult course. “You’ve got to take care of the par 5s because there’s not a lot of holes you can make birdie here. Subsequently, I didn’t finish under par.”

Phil Mickelson, who has won three times at Torrey Pines, is three shots off the pace after four birdies with a one bogey in his 69.

However, the San Diego native is struggling with a bad back.

“Never thought about not starting, but around the turn I thought about maybe taking this week off and seeing if I could get a little bit better,” he said.

“I kind of fought through the back nine and gave myself a chance.”

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