As expected, there were some low numbers posted at the Torrey Pines North Course on Thursday's opening round at the 2013 Farmers Insurance Open. The wind stayed down and as a result, there were plenty of players who posted rounds in the 60s.
Defending champion Brandt Snedeker set the pace, firing an opening round 65 to finish 7-under. Veteran K.J. Choi matched him with a 65 on the more challenging South Course. Snedeker took advantage of Kyle Stanley's collapse here last year, picking up a playoff win that propelled him to a breakout 2012 season. He's looked strong in two starts so far this season and was a heavy favorite coming into the week along with Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson. Bubba was supposed to play with Snedeker in the first two rounds, but he withdrew shortly before his tee time due to illness. Snedeker marched on, however, and jumped out to co-lead with Choi.
One player who did not capitalize on the conditions was Phil Mickelson, who shot an even-par 72 on a vulnerable North Course. Nearly every hole on that layout can be birdied, but Mickelson scuffled around what is a home game of sorts for him in La Jolla. Coming off a lackluster performance at the birdie fest in Palm Springs last week, Mickelson went far afield from golf in his post-tournament comments, ripping what he said were onerous tax levels in California. The comments immediately bubbled up into controversy, and some will say Phil was "distracted" this week because of it. Regardless of the off-the-course drama, Phil will need to get his game together on Friday at the tougher South Course or else he'll be going home early.
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