San Diego: Arjun Atwal could
not hold on to a good start and ended with a one-over 73 in
the opening round of the Farmer`s Insurance Open played over
two courses in Torrey Pines here.
The Indian ace, who has secured his card through 2012, is
lying at 97th after the first round at South Course.
In the second round, he plays in the North Course and
would need a good round to make the cut that looks likely at
one-under or par.
The field was led by a 24-year-old South Korean rookie,
Sunghoon Kang, who blazed the course with a eight-under 64,
thus finishing with back-to-back birdies on the North Course
to take a one-shot lead over Chris Kirk, Alex Prugh and the
highly popular Rickie Fowler.
Atwal opened with a birdie on the first and though he
gave away that advantage on fourth, the Indian found
back-to-back birdies on the sixth and seventh.
Then he found just bogeys and no more birdies.
A bogey on the eighth meant he turned in one-under, but
two more dropped shots on the 14th and 16th saw him end the
day at 73.
The tournament has received a lot of attention as Tiger
Woods opened his 2011 campaign with a three-under 69 with no
bogeys and no birdies on par-fives, usually his target for low
Phil Mickelson shot 32 on the back nine for a 5-under 67
to match the best score on the tougher South Course.
Also at 67 on the South was John Daly, whose last win
came in 2004 at this tournament.
He is the last player to win at Torrey Pines when Woods
was in the field.
Woods` game was solid but he still struggled on the
greens and sank just two putts longer than three feet ? one of
them a 10-foot par save on No. 8, and a 25-foot birdie putt on
the par-3 sixth.
Woods was paired with Rocco Mediate, whom he defeated in
an epic US Open playoff at Torrey Pines in 2008.