Date: January 26, 2018
Author: Martin Blake

Tiger grinds, Jones leads Aussies

Matt Jones was the best of the Australians but the focus fell firmly upon Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines in San Diego today as the Farmers Insurance Open began.

Woods started with a grinding 72, even-par, and is well off the pace set by Tony Finau at seven-under.

His highlights included a near hole-out with a six iron at the par-three 16th hole, and afterward he was happy to get through his first proper tournament round since this time last year.

At tied-84th, he faces a battle to make the cut tomorrow.

Woods, 42, who has had spinal fusion surgery, resumed playing in his own tournament before Christmas but this is his first full-field tournament in a year.

"I was probably a little bit rusty,” he said.“It was fun to feel that competitive rush again and have a scorecard in my hand and try and post a number,” he said.

Jones, who has regained his full playing rights, shot an opening 69 to be the best of the Aussies but others including Jason Day (73) struggled on the opening day.Australia's top-ranked player, Marc Leishman, is at one-under par 71.