Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nine-under Horschel grabs early lead at Torrey Pines

Nine-under Horschel grabs early lead at Torrey Pines

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Billy Horschel hits his tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round of The Farmers Insurance Open on Wednesday. AFP

Nine-under Horschel grabs early lead at Torrey Pines

Billy Horschel fired a nine-under-par 63 to snatch the early lead of the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on Wednesday.

Horschel reeled off nine birdies and nine pars in a flawless opening round at the picturesque southern California layout’s North Course to lead by one shot from Michael Thompson on eight under.

The 35-year-old’s brilliant round saw him grab the lead on the 520-yard par-five 17th hole, when he reached the green in two before two-putting for birdie.

Horschel revealed after his round he had been close to withdrawing after struggling to overcome a shoulder problem.

“I didn’t know if I was even going to tee it up today when I woke up,” the 2014 FedEx Cup champion said. “Even when I was hitting balls I still wasn’t sure whether I was going to tee it up.”

A low-scoring opening round saw Germany’s Stephan Jaeger and Kevin Tway finish the day on seven under after posting 65s, while there was a welcome return to form for Rickie Fowler, whose form and rankings position nosedived during a 2021 season that included nine missed cuts.

World No101 Fowler, who also missed the cut at last week’s American Express at La Quinta, was tied in fifth place with Doug Ghim, Italy’s Francesco Molinari and world No2 Jon Rahm on six under.

Fowler’s bogey-free 66 on the North Course included six birdies.

“Definitely pleased,” Fowler said afterwards. “Did a good job of kind of focusing on the things that we’re working on, being deliberate swing-wise and staying patient in there.”

Spanish star Rahm meanwhile, making a happy return to Torrey Pines, the scene of his maiden major victory at the US Open last year, had a more erratic opening round on the South Course.

After three birdies on the front nine to reach the turn at three under, Rahm posted three birdies and two bogeys in five holes down the stretch to struggle to four under.

But a superb eagle three on the par-five 18th – reaching the green in two before curling in an awkward 12-foot put – left him just three off the lead.

Rahm was pleased at being able to salvage a low score despite the occasional wayward shot.

“I put myself in really good positions, and the few times I was off, for the most part I was able to give myself a chance to save the hole,” Rahm said.

“Nothing was really bad, I feel like everything was feeling good, everything was coming out and feeling the way it should and it showed in the score.”

A group of 22 players were a further shot behind Rahm, Fowler, Ghim and Molinari on five under.

Former world No1 Dustin Johnson was in a group of seven players on four under after opening with a 68.


  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio