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Farmers Insurance Open: England’s Aaron Lai holds lead after round starts as Jon Rahm struggles


England’s Aaron Lai had an 8-under 64 in the first round, as did Brent Grant and Sam Ryder. The Farmers Insurance Open runs Thursday through Saturday and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Golf from 5pm.

Last updated: 26/01/23 6:43am


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England’s Aaron Lai shares the lead after the opening round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in California.

England’s Aaron Lai shares the lead after the opening round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in California.

Englishman Aaron Lai posted an 8-under 64 at the Farmers Insurance Open to take a first-round lead over Americans Sam Ryder and Brent Grant.

The 27-year-old started with a birdie on the No. 10 of the San Diego venue’s North Course at Torrey Pines before scoring seven more birdies on a productive day.

Meanwhile, world No. 3 Jon Rahm struggled with a 1-over 73 on the South Course.

The Spaniard, who is chasing his third win, continued to experience frustration on the more challenging course, with a double bogey on the par-4 7th hole.

None of the three leaders have won a Tour title, but the riders have also missed the cut three times in a row, with Rookie Grant’s last four rounds being 74 or less.

Satisfied after playing, Rai conceded that it had been a “very good” round and started the tournament.

In a statement shared by the San Diego Union-Tribune, he said, “I drove really great off the tee. Probably the most important thing, at least to give ourselves an opportunity for approach shots.”

“As soon as you miss the fairway here with anything more than a short iron, it becomes very difficult.

“That was the key today. I drove very well. I hit a lot of really good iron shots and made some putts on the turn there, so overall a very good round and a very good start. Chopped.”

Rahm is looking to bounce back after winning four of his last six events, including his final two starts on the PGA Tour at American Express last week and the season-opening Sentry Tournament of Champions.

A double bogey on the par-4 7th only exacerbated Rahm's predicament in the opening round.

A double bogey on the par-4 7th only exacerbated Rahm’s predicament in the opening round.

“No. 7 definitely had the best swing of the day and took two,” said Rahm. “I’ve hit that shot more than 25 times with the same wind in the past, but I’ve never seen the ball pin high, and I don’t know what happened today.

“For some reason I blew the pin on the 10-yard hazard. If you just skip the green and stay in the rough, that’s fine. But it came at a cost.”

“The main thing about today’s round was that I hit 6, 7, 12 and 13 tee shots and it was 3 over par,” Rahm added. “Any other round I’ve played here in the past, I’ve actually played at least par to under-par, so easily he swings from three shots to he swings five shots and that’s the difference.”

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January 26, 2023 at 5:00 PM

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Watch the Farmers Insurance Open live all week on Sky Sports. The live broadcast will follow him on Thursday, January 26th at 17:30 pm.

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