SAN DIEGO – Jon Rahm struggled to a 1-under 73 at Torrey Pines South, which has become one of his favorite courses, while Sam Ryder, Aaron Wray and Brent Grant shot 64-under 64 on the more forgiving North Course on Wednesday. To compete for the lead in the first round at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rahm, ranked No. 3 in the world and looking for his third win in his debut, made a double bogey on the par-4 seventh hole and was constantly frustrated on the South Course. In the year In 2017, he earned his first PGA Tour win at the Municipal Course on the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean and won the US Open on the South Course in 2021.
Rahm, who is trying for his 10th career tour win, is tied for 116th with 11 others, including playing partners Tony Finau and Justin Rose.
“It’s not good,” said the Spanish star as he signed autographs in the fading sun. Rahm won the American Express PGA West in the Coachella Valley last weekend and the Sentry Tournament in Kapalua two weeks ago.
Ryder, Rai and Grant have never won on tour. Ryder is coming off three straight missed chops. Grant’s last four rounds were 74 or better. Seven players shot back another shot at 6-under 66, leading Brendan Steele’s 7-under 65 by one shot.World champion Luke List and Colin Morikawa are tied for No. 8 in the world. Seven teams were 5-under 67.
The top six finishers and 13 of the top 18 have played the North Course. Players will switch courses on Thursday, with strong winds forecast, and play the final two rounds on the South Course.
PGA Tour rookies Sam Stevens and Andrew Novak had excellent rounds on the South Course. Both were on the ’66 team.
Rahm was 2 under for six holes before sending his second shot onto the green on No. 7 to the birthplace of the brush. After taking a penalty drop in the right rough, he chipped on the green and two-putted.
Rahm bogeyed Nos. 12 and 15 before birdying the par-3 16th.
“No. 7 was probably my best swing of the day that cost me two shots,” Rahm said. “I’ve hit that shot 25 times in the same wind in the past and I’ve never seen a ball bounce and today we don’t know what happened. Somehow the pin flew 10 yards. It’s okay if it just flew the green and stayed in trouble, but that was too expensive.”
“The highlight of the round was the tee shots I hit on 6, 7, 12 and 13. I was 3-over. Any other round I’ve played here I’ve been playing that before. It’s at least a little bit under par, so it’s just a three- to five-shot swing that’s the difference.”
Ryder, 33, still looking for his first tour win, opened the round with an eagle on the par-5 10th.
“No. 10 is one of the easier holes on the course, a short par 5, a beautiful hole that goes down to the ocean,” he said. “Of course you’re thinking, hit the fairway, hit the green. You’re thinking, OK, maybe I can make a 4. I wasn’t thinking about attacking, attacking, but it wasn’t.” It has failed. It’s like a small bonus, but it’s great to start the round with a birdie or an eagle.”
split up No one made a quicker turnaround in Wednesday’s start than Scott Brown. He was competing on the Korn Ferry Tour in the Bahamas in a race that began Sunday and ended Wednesday. After the game on Monday, Brown found out that John Huh was the first substitute for Torrey Pines when he served himself. Brown left the Bahamas, flew to San Diego on Tuesday and was in the first group that left Wednesday morning. He shot a 3-under 69 on the North Course.