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Brown and Loupe leads Farmers after round one

By: Andrew McGill

Scott Brown had to play the more difficult south course in the first round, but he was great is set up for an even better round two.

Scott Brown had to play the more difficult south course in the first round, but he was great is set up for an even better round two.

Scott Brown and Andrew Loupe both posted 66’s through 18 holes and share the top spot on the leaderboard after round one of the Farmers Insurance Open. Brown was one of the few golfers at the top of the field that played the south course on the first day.

Brown and South Korean K.J. Choi and American Chesson Hadley, who were tied for eighth with a four-under, were the only ones on the south course to finish the first round in the top 14. The north course boasts more high-speed greens, which proved to be a problem for Rickie Fowler, but the holes are a lot shorter. The south course at Torrey Pines is 2.5 strokes harder than its northern counterpart.

Brown started off red hot, birdieing six holes on the front nine, then eventually evening out on the back nine with two birdies and two bogey’s.

“It’s a hard golf course and if you’re out of position, you’re playing for par,” Brown said. “Fortunately I drove it good, and hit a couple good iron shots and had a lot of really easy looks for birdie.”

Loupe hit an eagle on the first hole and though he bogey’s the second hole and the 13th, he hit four birdies and eagled the 18th.

“I had the easy side today, got the harder side tomorrow, but I”m looking forward to it,” Loupe said.

Phil Mickelson heats up late, Dustin Johnson positions himself well for round two

Phil Mickelson didn’t get off to the greatest start in the first round of the tournament as he double bogeyed the second hole, but showed no urgency in making up his deficit and remained calm. After posting birdies on holes six and eight, Mickelson entered the back nine with an even score. Then he fired off three-straight birdies and finished tied for 15th with a three-under at the end of the first round.

Dustin Johnson started off well but faltered on the back nine. After picking up four birdies on the front nine he bogied three on the back nine before finally grabbing another birdie on the final hole. Johnson is tied for 34th at two-under but could be a player to watch in round two as he has the easier northern course to look forward to.

Defending champion Jason Day battles illness

He sat out of a Pro-Am the day before the Farmers Insurance Open to rest up and get ready, but it did not seem to matter much. It was a tough day for Jason Day, who seemed lucky to be finishing even on the north course. His long game was off as he hit only three fairways. His averaged birdie/bogey ratio for the course was 4-to-1, but in the opening round he had four bogeys to go with his four birdies.

Day won the tournament last year and it catapulted him to the best season of his career. But he needs to come out with more energy in round two if he hopes to win it again.

Rickie Fowler struggles in short game

Rickie Fowler was coming off a first-place finish at the Abu Dhabi Championship last weekend, and flew back to California on Monday. Though he claims he got enough rest, he looked like he was tired and unfocused on the greens. Fowler’s 73 is his highest opening round score since the 2015 PGA Championship and snapped his streak of 19 consecutive rounds finishing at par or better. The slower greens of the south course may help him in the second round.

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Andrew McGill

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