Stewart Cink leads the Farmers Insurance Open at eight-under par. Cink’s last win on Tour was the 2009 Open Championship, and he spoke about the difficulties of losing his golf game after the Open:
There was some soul searching along the way wondering if I’m doing the right thing…But it feels a lot better now, and I feel like I’m playing a lot more solid, a lot more reliable kind of golf.
Gary Woodland is in second place at seven-under par. He struggled with wrist injuries after winning his first PGA Tour tournament in 2011. Last August, he won his second tournament at the Reno-Tahoe Open, and continues to play well:
Yeah, everything’s really starting to come together. I’m healthier. We put a lot of work in this off season. Really focus on driving the golf ball, and I feel like I’m starting to do that really well now. The putts are starting to go in a little bit. Played pretty good on the weekend last week, kind of gave me some confidence and kind of carried that over to today.
Jason Day is tied for third at six-under. He has one win on the PGA Tour, and is hungry for more:
I’ve been working very hard in the off season in the gym working on my body and making sure it’s ready for the start of the new season…It’s easy to say, oh, I want to win more than just once, but you really have to want to win.
Pat Perez is tied for seventh at five-under. He scored the best round on the South course, and credited his new swing instructor for his good play:
I’ve finally got my game in order. I started working with a guy named Joe Mayo and he’s really taught me how to understand the ball launch. The way the ball flies, there’s only certain ways you can strike it to do that. I finally understand. I’ve been looking for that forever.
Phil Mickelson shot three-under, and may have to withdraw from the tournament because of tightening in his back:
I’m hopeful I can play, but I don’t want to do anything stupid here the first week of the year or second week for me of the year. I want to make sure that I’m healthy and that I don’t get into bad swing habits just because I’m having a bit of tightening.
Twenty-year-old Michael Kim shot two-under in his pro debut. A birdie on the first hole helped calm his nerves:
Yeah, I definitely felt the nerves on the first tee. Some guys gave me some good cheers, and luckily I hit the first cut and made birdie on the 1st hole, which actually calmed me down a little bit.
Twenty-year-old Jordan Spieth shot one-under, and played with Tiger Woods for the first time in competition:
You get amped on the first tee with all the people there. It’s like you’re playing in one of the last couple groups Saturday or Sunday, but it’s Thursday. I enjoyed it. I’ve talked with Tiger a lot. He’s very supportive of me and he’s a nice guy to play with out there. He helps us play better, very methodical, we take our time. You know, a course that he’s won at so many times, you can learn from what he’s hitting off the tees and where he’s leaving the ball.