McIlroy had four birdies on his front nine and ended with a birdie, dropping one shot on every nine Farmers Insurance first round leaderboard-6 S Cappelen (Den), K Bradley (US); -5 Byeong Hun An (Kor), J Dahmen (USA), K Tway (USA), R McIlroy (NI), Xinjun Zhang (Chn), M NeSmith (USA), S Im (Kor), B Watson (USA) Selected others: -4 J Rahm (Spa); -3 R Knox (Sco), T Woods (USA); -1 B Taylor (Eng), M Laird (Sco); level P Mickelson (US); +3 J Rose (Eng)
World number two Rory McIlroy has carded seven birds and is one blow behind the lead after round one of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
The 30-year-old Northern Irishman can become world number one this week with victory and returned a five-under 67.
Seven-time winner Tiger Woods, also from the 10th on Noordbaan, birdied the last for a 69.
Defending champion Justin Rose is three left, with world number 341 Sebastian Cappelen and Keegan Bradley ahead.
Players each have a round on the North and South lanes during the first two days before the last two rounds are disputed exclusively on the South, where Woods won the US Open 2008.
The Zuidbaan will also be the location for next year's US Open and 29-year-old Cappelen from Denmark enjoyed himself there with eight birdies on Thursday, overcoming a short period of dense fog at the end of his rotation. on the California coast.
During his first PGA event of the year, McIlroy ran from the edge of the green on the 18th and played a towering iron shot on the second to set up a birdie, collecting further birdies the two par five of his back nine. said McIlroy, who won four times last year and has 18 PGA titles.
Masters champion Woods, number six in the world, is looking for a record 83rd PGA Tour victory, equal to Sam Snead & # 39; s milestone in his last tour appearance in Japan last October.
"In general, I am happy to shoot in the 60s. The course was available today," said the 44-year-old. "I felt like I hit the ball well, I am very happy to get something in the red and go south tomorrow. "