Scott Brown and Andrew Loupe share lead at Torrey Pines
By Allan Valente
Last Updated: 31/01/16 12:25am
Americans Scott Brown and Andrew Loupe shared the lead as home players occupied the top seven spots after the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
The duo were tied on six under par after both opened with rounds of 66, with Brown having eight birdies and two bogeys in his round.
He played the more difficult South Course while Loupe's opening round was on the North Course.
Brown said: "I hit it really well coming in, the last 11 holes. I made a couple of length putts and capitalised on the short ones.
"It's a hard golf course, if you're out of position you are immediately playing for par. Fortunately I drove it good and hit a lot of good iron shots today," Brown told the PGA Tour website.
Loupe had two eagles, four birdies and two bogeys as he and Brown led fellow countrymen Billy Horschel, Patton Kizzire, Tom Hoge, Rob Hoppenheim and Harold Varner III by a single stroke.
A seven-way tie on four under par included Americans Gary Woodland, Brendan Steele, Scott Stallings, Matt Every and Chesson Hadley.
Also sharing eighth place were KJ Choi and Hideki Matsuyama while Scotland's Martin Laird and Ireland's Paul Dunne featured in a 19-way tie for 15th on three under, which also included Patrick Reed and Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson, whose last win at Torrey Pines was 15 years ago, did not have the ideal start, which included a double bogey.
"I thought anything in the 60s would have been a good score," he said. "It's a very difficult golf course.
"But after doubling the second, I was able to kind of just keep things calm until I made a few birdies, and it was a good back nine."
Shane Lowry and Justin Rose both had rounds of one under to tie for 54th.
Defending champion Jason Day had gone into the tournament hoping to be competitive despite suffering from a virus but he ended the opening round tied for 76th on even par while English pair Greg Owen and Paul Casey both shot one over par rounds of 73 to be in a tie for 90th place.