Horschel leads Farmers Insurance Open with Rahm three shots back

By Sports Desk January 26, 2022

Billy Horschel leads the way after the opening day of the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego with world number one Jon Rahm the best of the big names in the field.

Horschel leads by one stroke from Michael Thompson after the 35-year-old American carded a bogey-free nine-under-par 63 on the North Course at Torrey Pines.

World number 23 Thompson also went bogey free on Thursday, birdieing four of his first five holes to jump out of the blocks, before birdies on the 17th and 18th holes rounded out a strong day.

Stephan Jaeger and Kevin Tway are seven-under-par, with Rahm on six-under-par alongside three others players; Rickie Fowler, Doug Ghim and Francesco Molinari.

Rahm's round on the South Course included two bogeys and six birdies but he jumped up the leaderboard with an eagle on the 18th.

Sam Burns, Daniel Berger and Tony Finau are among a group of players tied at five-under while Justin Thomas started with a four-under-par 64 but had five birdies on his front nine before two bogeys in his final five holes.

Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Xander Schauffele and 2020 Masters champion Dustin Johnson are also four under.

A bleach-blonde Brooks Koepka had two bogeys and four birdies to be two under, alongside three-time major winner Jordan Spieth and 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau.

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    The Northern Irishman followed up a dismal seven-over 78 on Thursday by carding 75 in the second round, finishing 11 over at the halfway point.

    After being pipped to the U.S. Open last month by Bryson DeChambeau, who also missed the cut at Royal Troon, McIlroy's hopes of finally earning his first major title since 2014 will stretch into next year.

    After finishing the round, McIlroy admitted the weather played a big part as he struggled to adapt his game to get the better of the conditions.

    "Obviously, got off to the worst start possible today, being six over through six. If I need to remember something about this week, it'll be the last few holes that I played," McIlroy told reporters.

    "When I look back on the two majors that I didn't play my best at, here and the Masters, the wind got the better of me on Friday at Augusta, and then the wind got the better of me the last two days here.

    "Twenty-two holes into the event, and I'm thinking about where I'm going to go on vacation next week. That was basically it.

    "I knew from then I'd sort of resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to shoot, whatever it is, from there on in to make the cut.

    "It was a pretty meaningless 14 holes after that, but at least I played okay. When the wind dropped, my game felt a little more comfortable."

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    The 2019 champion began the day at five under at Royal Troon - a shot behind leader Daniel Brown - and birdied the first, fourth and eight holes to reach seven under at the turn.

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