Tiger Woods returns with par at Torrey Pines
Tiger Woods signed for an even-par 72 on his return to the PGA Tour, showing a few glimpses of old magic but plenty of ring-rust at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Former world number one Woods' presence at Torrey Pines has given this tournament an extra layer of attention, but the 42-year-old was mostly serene in Thursday's round - his first official outing in 10 months.
With eight wins in the past at this venue, Woods' muscle memory seemed to snap into action in some places on the south course, nowhere more spectacularly than the par-three 16th, where his tee shot almost found the cup.
Woods is seven shots off the pace set by leader Tony Finau.
The 14-time major champion showed evidence of still getting used to his remodelled action after spinal-fusion surgery last year and his chief issue on his front nine was pulling tee shots left.
After two bogeys in his opening five holes, Woods was back on an even keel through 10 after a perfectly executed wedge masked a slight blemish from the tee to leave him a three-footer for his second birdie.
Woods was back over par in disappointing circumstances at the par-five 13th, lipping out from five feet after a magnificent shot from the bunker which had deserved to salvage a scratchy par.
Composure was regained at 14 and 15 before a marvellous tee shot at 16 brought coos from the Torrey Pines spectators, Woods' ball resting to within three feet off the tee before the birdie was gratefully accepted.
Chances to make further progress did not materialise as Woods' efforts off the tee gave a tired feel, although the determination on show to bring home par will serve him well through the rest of the tournament and beyond into a 2018 in which he has targeted an impact on the biggest stage once again after so many years of doubt.
Finau nabbed sole ownership of first position with a birdie on the 18th - his ninth of a productive Thursday - although two bogeys ensured flawless duo Ryan Palmer and Ted Potter Jr remain well in the hunt at six under.
World number two Jon Rahm is in a tie for fifth at four under, having rescued par at the last after finding the water to stay well within reach of the leaders.