Tony Finau Takes 2018 Farmers Insurance Open Day 1 Lead; Tiger Woods Breaks Even

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2018

Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the second hole hole of the South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

Tony Finau is off to the early lead at the Farmers Insurance Open after carding a 65 in the first round on Thursday. 

Meanwhile, Tiger Woods made his return to the PGA Tour with his first official round of 2018. He finished with a par-72, good for a tie for 84th place.

With 61 player under par and 14 at four under or better, it could be a competitive week at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego.

             

Round 1 Leaderboard

1. Tony Finau (-7)

T2. Ted Potter Jr. (-6)

T2. Ryan Palmer (-6)

T4. Roberto Diaz (-4)

T4. Hunter Mahan (-4)

T4. Francesco Molinari (-4)

T4. Julian Suri (-4)

T4. Peter Uihlein (-4)

T4. Tom Lovelady (-4)

T4. Rory Sabbatini (-4)

T4. John Rahm (-4)

T4. Sangmoon Bae (-4)

T4. Grayson Murray (-4)

T4. Patrick Reed (-4)

Full standings via PGATour.com.

                   

Woods' return was one of the big stories of the day; it was his first PGA Tour appearance since this tournament last year. He missed the cut after finishing four strokes over par.

Injuries have slowed him down since that, but he was back on the course Thursday. He showed both positive and negative play, finishing with three birdies and three bogeys.

He showcased some of the quality play that we have come to expect from the 14-time major winner:

On the other hand, he missed some putts and was a bit wild off the tee. His longest putt was four feet and two inches, per Justin Ray of Golf Channel.

Mike McAllister of PGATour.com provided the superstar's statistics:

Meanwhile, the race at the top of the leaderboard was extremely close throughout the day. Ted Potter Jr. was the first to post a low score, entering the clubhouse at six under.

He finished with zero bogeys and six birdies, including this chip-in on No. 18:

Ryan Palmer matched him later in the day with a similar round, staying bogey-free to end his round in the lead.

However, it was Finau who finished atop the pack after totaling nine birdies in the opening round. He put himself in the lead at seven under with a birdie on the final hole:

His average driving distance of 330.5 yards helped overcome a lot of other issues, and Finau took advantage to post the best score of the day.

While he remains in good shape, he should be cautious, considering no opening-round leader has won at Torrey Pines since 1987, per Ray. With such a jumbled leaderboard, there will likely be quite a bit of movement over the next three days. There are already 14 players within three strokes of the lead.

The players will be back in action Friday for Round 2, beginning at 9 a.m. ET.

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