Thursday's Golf Capsules
Friday, January 27, 2012
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Spencer Levin and Kyle Stanley knew they had to post low scores on the easier North Course at Torrey Pines to get off to a good start Thursday in the Farmers Insurance Open. It went even better than they expected.
Stanley made eagle on his final hole for a 10-under 62, his best score in two years on the PGA Tour. Levin shot 29 on the back nine and had a 62, matching his career best on tour.
They were a shot ahead of FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas, who had a double bogey on his 15th hole and still managed a 63. The top 12 on the leaderboard played the North, which played slightly more than 3 1/2 strokes easier than the South Course, which hosted the U.S. Open four years ago.
The best score from the South was Marc Turnesa at 66.
Phil Mickelson, meanwhile, went south on the South. The three-time champion and San Diego favorite thought his game was rounding into form when he came home from the Humana Challenge. Instead, he hit into 11 bunkers, missed a 3-foot birdie putt on the final hole and signed for a 77. It was his highest score at Torrey Pines since a 78 in the third round of 2005.
A year ago, the fairways were pinched in and the rough was unusually high on the North Course, helping to make up for the 604-yard difference between the two courses. Based on the scores, that’s no longer the case.
Vijay Singh, Rod Pampling, Josh Teater and PGA Tour rookie John Huh were at 64, with Huh making three eagles. Camilo Villegas and Justin Leonard were among those at 65.
ABU DHABI GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Rory McIlroy outplayed Tiger Woods in the first round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, shooting a 5-under 67 for a share of the lead with Robert Karlsson.
Woods shot a 70 in a threesome with McIlroy and top-ranked Luke Donald, who finished with a 71.
Gareth Maybin, Richard Finch and Jean-Baptiste Gonnet shot 68.
Woods played bogey-free golf that produced few momentous shots and two birdies. He missed several birdie chances, including a 6-footer on his ninth, the 18th hole.
McIlroy, the U.S. Open champion who has had three top-five finishes in Abu Dhabi, made three birdies on his first four holes but erratic driving led to two bogeys on the next four. He steadied himself with three birdies on his back nine, including a chip-in on No. 8 from just off the green.
Sergio Garcia had a hole-in-one on the 12th hole en route to a 71. Second-ranked Lee Westwood opened with a 72, and defending champion Martin Kaymer had a 77.