Kang steals spotlight from Tiger, Phil

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, Last Updated: 11:11 AM ET

LA JOLLA, Calif. -- PGA Tour rookie Sunghoon Kang fired an eight-under 64 Thursday to take a one-stroke lead at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Kang, who missed the cut at the Sony Open in Hawaii, gained his tour card through Q School. Prior to this season, he had never made a start on either the PGA Tour or the Nationwide Tour.

The South Korean played the North Course at Torrey Pines on Thursday as did six-time champion Tiger Woods.

Woods, who was making his season debut, posted a bogey-free, three-under 69, which left him tied for 22nd place.

He is two strokes behind three-time winner Phil Mickelson, who mixed seven birdies and two bogeys in a round of 67 on the South Course at Torrey Pines. Mickelson is tied for fifth at minus-five.

Rickie Fowler, who shared fifth place at this event last year, carded a seven-under 65 and is tied for second place with Alex Prugh. Chris Kirk is alone in fourth at minus-six.

Woods, who is playing at Torrey Pines for the first time since winning the 2008 U.S. Open, played the back nine first and posted his lone birdie on that side on the par-three 12th.

After seven consecutive pars, Woods drove close to the green at No. 2 and got up and down for birdie. Woods rolled in a long birdie putt at the par-three sixth to get to three-under. He parred out to finish there.

"I kept leaving myself above the hole. Every putt that I had was breaking two, three, four feet from above the hole," Woods stated. "I've got to put myself in better spots below the hole, and I didn't do that today. I probably hit the ball well all day. I hit just a couple of loose shots that I know what I did wrong, which was great, easy fixes and move on from there."

Mickelson, who played on the European Tour last week, opened with three straight pars before wrapping birdies on the fourth and sixth around a bogey on the fifth.

After three more pars, Mickelson dropped in back-to-back birdie efforts from the 10th. He followed a birdie on the 13th with a bogey on No. 14. Mickelson bounced right back with a birdie on 15 and he knocked in a three-footer for birdie at the last.

Kang, who played two groups behind Woods, opened with a birdie on the 12th. He jumped to three-under with a chip-in eagle on the par-five 14th.

The South Korean converted back-to-back birdie chances from the 17th to make the turn at minus-five. He parred five in a row to start the front side.

Kang grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie on the sixth. He closed with birdies on eight and nine to take the first-round lead.

"All the par-fives are reachable, so I really tried to keep it in the fairways and it worked really well. I made two birdies and one eagle. So I think I really have done well on the par-fives," Kang stated. "That's why I played very well today."

Mickelson was joined in fifth place by 2004 winner John Daly, Brandt Jobe, Fredrik Jacobson, Ryuji Imada, 2009 PGA Champion Y.E. Yang, Bill Haas, Fabian Gomez, Marc Leishman and Keegan Bradley.

NOTES: The first two rounds are spread over the North and South courses, while the final two rounds will be played on the longer, more difficult South Course...Defending champion Ben Crane opened with a two-under 70, which left him tied for 35th...There are two amateurs in the field Anthony Paolucci and Josh Anderson. Paolucci carded a two-under 70, while Anderson struggled to a four-over 76.


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