The best score belonged to Stewart Cink.
The best round belonged to Pat Perez.
Tiger Woods didn’t come close to claiming either Thursday in the Farmers Insurance Open, where the seven-time champion failed to break par in the opening round for first time in his career.
Cink ran off three straight birdies late in his round on the easier North Course at Torrey Pines for an 8-under 64. That gave him a one-shot lead over Gary Woodland, who also was on the North, which is more than 600 yards shorter.
Perez was on the South Course, host of the 2008 U.S. Open and with greens so firm this year that it felt like a major. Perez had a 67, the best score on the South by two shots, and even more astounding is that he played bogey-free.
The South played nearly four shots harder than the North.
Woods, making his 2014 debut, failed to birdie any of the par 5s and had to settle for a 72.
“Even par is not too bad, but I didn’t play the par 5s worth a darn today,” Woods said. “Obviously, that’s [tantamount] to try to get any kind of scoring on the South Course. You’ve got to take care of the par 5s because there’s not a lot of holes you can make birdie here. Subsequently, I didn’t finish under par.”
Even at eight shots behind, he wasn’t worried about a chance to win at Torrey for the ninth time — including a U.S. Open. The courses are so different than it’s difficult to gauge where anyone stands until everyone has had a crack at both courses. The weekend rounds are on the South.
“I’m going to have to go out there and get it a little bit tomorrow to not be so far behind come Saturday or Sunday,” Woods said.