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Yu leads, Cantlay one back after opening round at Farmers

Yu leads, Cantlay one back after opening round at Farmers

SAN DIEGO — Kevin Yu shot a bogey-free, 8-under 64 on the North Course at Torrey Pines to take a one-shot lead over Patrick Cantlay and Ryo Hisatsune in the opening round of the Farmers Insurance Open on Wednesday.

The eight lowest scores came on the North Course, which generally plays a few strokes easier than the South Course on the municipal layouts on a bluff high above the Pacific Ocean. Players have a round on each course before the cut. The final two rounds will be played on the South Course.

Cantlay, ranked No. 6 in the world, had just one bogey and fared better than No. 5 Xander Schauffele and defending champion and seventh-ranked Max Homa, both of whom played the South Course. Schauffele, a local who played at San Diego State, shot a 3-under 69 while Homa had all three of his bogeys in the first seven holes in carding a 2-under 70.

The best score on the South Course was a 5-under 67 by Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark, who arrived Monday from Dubai and was able to play only nine holes on the North Course on Tuesday. The Farmers ends Saturday to avoid being shown opposite the NFL conference championship games.

Yu, a 25-year-old who played at Arizona State, is seeking his first PGA Tour win. He tied for third at The American Express last week, two shots behind Kevin Dunlap, the first amateur to win on the PGA Tour in 33 years.

“I fell short last week; bogeyed the last hole on Sunday. But yeah, I’ve been playing very good and just keep building momentum,” Yu said. “If I hit a lot of fairways, I can have a lot of chances to get on the green and try to make some putts.”

Cantlay avoided the roughs that were soaked during a storm that overwhelmed parts of the city Monday.

Cantlay, who grew up in Orange County and played at UCLA, hasn’t played the Farmers since 2019 although he did play in the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in 2021.

“Obviously, different conditions this week,” Cantlay said. “It will be a lot more wet this week. The scores should be quite a bit lower. But you play the golf course from the fairway and you can have a bunch of chances around here.”

He said the key to his round was playing well on the three par 5s, although he three-putted No. 17 for par, which he called “kind of a bummer.” His only bogey was on the par-3 No. 3.

“I hit the ball very solid, played from the fairway a lot, which really gave me a lot of opportunities to make birdie today,” he said. “When the rough is as wet as it is, it makes it more difficult. It’s harder to get the golf ball to go because the water gets in the way. But the rough is classically long here. I don’t think I’ve played this golf course ever really when the rough’s short.

“There’s definitely a penalty for missing the fairway and, like I said, today I played a lot from the fairway so I hope to keep that up.”

Hisatsune, a 21-year-old from Japan who’s also seeking his first PGA Tour win, had just one bogey.

Hideki Matsuyama, Shane Lowry, Thomas Detry, Aaron Rai and Alejandro Tosti each shot 66.

Hojgaard, who tied for seventh in Dubai, had just one bogey, on the par-4 fourth.

“I played really well out there today,” he said. “I felt like I was doing a lot of good stuff, a lot of good work. I wish I was a few more shots better. I felt like I gave myself all the chances on the back nine as well. You can’t complain when you shoot a 67 on the South Course.”