Defending champ Day back in the mix at Torrey Pines

Defending champion Jason Day has made a solid start to his Farmers Insurance Open title defence at Torrey Pines.

Day, who claimed his second win at the famed California course and 12th US PGA Tour title overall here last year, picked up where he left off with a five-under-par 67 on the North course in Thursday's first round.

Defensive: Reigning champion Jason Day made a solid start to his title defence.Credit:AP

The former world No.1 sits five shots off leader and 2017 champion Jon Rahm , who missed a birdie putt on his last hole to tie the course record, but seven birdies, two eagles and a bogey still gave the Spaniard a 62.

At 10-under, Rahm holds a one-shot lead over Doug Ghim and world No.1 Justin Rose, who each posted 63 on the North course.

Despite hitting only 11 of 18 greens in regulation, Day managed five birdies and an eagle, although two bogeys soured his card.

Day and Matt Jones (67) are the leading Australians, while countrymen John Senden and Marc Leishman are a shot further back at four-under nearing completion of their rounds.

Adam Scott birdied the 18th en route to an opening two-under 70 on the brutal South course, one stroke ahead of fellow Queenslander Cameron Smith.

Other Australians in the field include Cameron Davis (72, South) and Rod Pampling (75, South).

Meanwhile, Tiger Woods struggled to get out of first gear on the South course.

A winner of eight titles at Torrey Pines, including the 2008 US Open, Woods combined five birdies with three bogeys to sit at two-under for his round.

It's Woods' first US Tour event of 2019 and first official start since winning the Tour Championship in September.


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