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Jon Rahm returned to Torrey Pines, where he won the 2017 Farmer's Insurance Open and placed in the top-10 a year ago, and absolutely lit up the North Course with an opening round 62. He set a pace on a day of low scores on the North Course, which played about two strokes easier than the South Course on a day where everyone benefited from light winds around La Jolla, California.
Rahm's 62 doesn't place him way out in front though, and the leaderboard is packed with names more than capable of holding on to their spot through a presumably tougher round on the South Course on Friday. Justin Rose is up there just one stroke back after a 63, Jordan Spieth shot a 65 and in total, there are 14 players within four strokes of the lead -- three of them posting impressive scores on the South Course with opportunities to go even lower as the weekend nears.
First place -- Jon Rahm (-10): Rahm's 62 was his best PGA Tour score since shooting a 62 in the 2018 Desert Classic, an event that he would go on to win. It's his best Torrey Pines score since shooting 65 in the final round to win this event in 2017, and he did not shy away from admitting that his game feels right at home here on this course.
"It's definitely a golf course that suits my strengths," Rahm told Golf Channel after the round. "You have to strike it well off the tee, really well with the irons and that's what I did all day. Taking superb advantage of the par-5s is where everything came together.
"I didn't make many mistakes, but the ones I made I was able to fix quickly. Some of them actually ended up as birdies. A lot of good momentum going on, especially starting the day with an eagle."
That's right. Rahm started the day with an eagle at No. 10 and never looked back. He added another eagle at the par-5 17th to pair with three birdies for an opening nine 29. Those mistakes that he mentioned largely came after the turn when he ran off three pars and bogey on the first four holes of the front nine but caught fire again with four straight birdies between No. 5 and No. 8.
Last place -- Carlos Ortiz (+5): The South Course took a big bite out of the 27-year old from Mexico. His 77 had 12 very routine pars and a birdie, but a double-bogey at 12 along with four bogeys left him in last place.
Other contenders -- Justin Rose (-9), Doug Ghim (-9), CT Pan (-8), Jordan Spieth (-7): How about Doug Ghim! The former Texas Longhorn has already made a splash early in his pro career with a stellar opening round 63. Rose was steady throughout the round and Spieth was absolute wizard round the greens. Things weren't always pretty for Spieth from tee-to-green, but he was dialed in with his putter and as the putts continued to fall, the rest of his game seemed to fall in line.
2019 Farmers Insurance Open, end of Round 1:
Round 1 course scoring averages:
South Course (SC): -0.4 strokes per round
North Course (NC): -2.6
Current cutline: 73 players at -2 or better (T53rd position)
Top 3 most likely projected cutlines:
3 under par: 27.4%
4 under par: 27.0%
2 under par: 16.9%
Notable player below the current cutline:
(Friday’s course for each player is listed)
Rory McIlroy (T74, -1, NC) : 78.7% Make Cut Probability
Gary Woodland (T74, -1, NC) : 78.1%
Rickie Fowler (T118, +1, NC) : 56.9%
Patrick Cantlay (T133, +2, NC) : 41.4%