FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN
Tiger Woods brought big crowds back to golf, and he even produced a few big roars. In his first PGA Tour event in a year because of a fourth back surgery, Woods mixed a few mistakes with a few shots that looked familiar Thursday on his way to an even-par 72 in the opening round of the Farmers Insurance Open. “It was fun to compete again. It was fun to be out there,” Woods said. But he was seven shots behind Tony Finau, who led with a 65 on the North Course at Torrey Pines, and Woods will play that course on Friday on the bubble to make the cut. With virtually no wind on a day for reasonable scoring, he was tied for 84th. Woods was steady on the South Course, and at times spectacular. His three birdie putts were from a combined 30 inches. The longest of his birdie putt was from just inside 2 feet on No. 10 that got him back to even par for the round. He was one rotation away from making a long eagle putt on the par-5 sixth. What really made the gallery delirious was his 6-iron on par-3 16th hole that rolled toward the hole and broke just in front of the cup, settling 8 inches away.
PURE SILK BAHAMAS
PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS
Brooke Henderson shot a bogey-free 5-under 68 in windy conditions to take the first-round lead in the season-opening Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. Henderson had four birdies in a seven-hole stretch and closed with three pars on the gusty Ocean Club layout. The 20-year-old Canadian has five LPGA Tour victories, winning last year in Michigan and New Zealand. Australia’s Sarah Jane Smith finished with a bogey to drop into a tie for second with Spanish rookie Luna Sobron Galmes. Top-ranked Shanshan Feng birdied her last for a 70, matching Danielle Kang, Lindsey Weaver, Katherine Kirk, Jing Yan and Maria Torres, the tour’s first player from Puerto Rico. Kang played alongside Henderson and I.K. Kim. Lexi Thompson, a playoff loser to Brittany Lincicome last year, opened with a 72. Michelle Wie eagled the par-5 11th in a 73, and playing partners Lincicome and third-ranked So Yeon Ryu followed at 74. Kim and Ariya Jutanugarn shot 76, and Stacy Lewis had two double bogeys in a 78.
DUBAI DESERT CLASSIC
Donaldson flirted with the European Tour’s first-ever 59 before settling for a 10-under 62 Thursday in the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic. In perfect scoring conditions at the Emirates Golf Club, the 42-year-old Donaldson took a one-shot lead over Anthony Wall and David Horsey. Tyrrell Hatton (64) was fourth, while four-time major winner Rory McIlroy was among five players at 65. Donaldson, a former European Ryder Cup player now ranked 292nd, started on the 10th hole and made four birdies and an eagle to make the turn at 6 under. He then birdied the second before picking up four shots in a row from the fourth. He went close to chipping in for another birdie on the 17th but missed his up-and-down for par from the rough at the ninth. Defending champion Sergio Garcia opened with a 5-under 67.