Tiger Woods shoots 68, three back of Brandt Snedeker and K.J. Choi

Tiger Woods shoots 68, three back of Brandt Snedeker and K.J. Choi

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer
Tiger Woods owned the south course at Torrey Pines on Thursday. (GettyImages)

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Tiger Woods started the Farmers Insurance Open with a 68 Thursday that left a little bit to be desired. It wasn't terrible, especially considering his struggles in Abu Dhabi last week, but he left a lot of six- and seven-foot putts on the course.

He went off brilliantly on the front nine with a 32 that included four birdies, an eagle and a double bogey.

The eagle was a sweet play out of the bunker. (See video below.)

But he closed his round with a messy bogey on No. 15 (got stuck behind a tree), a bogey on 17 and a barely-saved par out of the sand on No. 18.

Woods played the round with Nick Watney (-3) and Rickie Fowler (+5).

In what I believe is their last two rounds together, Woods has played 26 shots better than Fowler. (Woods beat him by 17 (!) shots in the final round at the Memorial last year.)

Woods played the south course on Thursday, which is decidedly more difficult than the north course, which he will play in the second round. So expect more fireworks from him on Friday.

Charles Howell III put it a more humorous way:

The leaderboard agrees with Howell: Of the top 19 golfers, only four played the south course Thursday. Saturday and Sunday's rounds will both be on the south course -- golfers only get one round on the north course all week (better take advantage).

A surprisingly jovial Woods noted after his round that he doesn't know what his strategy will be for Friday:

The weatherman's got it wrong every day. It's supposed to rain but who knows, we'll get out there tomorrow and kind of play it by ear.

Brandt Snedeker (north course) and K.J. Choi (south course!) lead the tournament at 7 under, and Howell continued his torrid start to 2013 by posting a 6-under 66 on the north course.

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