PGA tour Torrey Pines
Rickie Fowler watches his tee shot on the 11th hole on the North Course during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open tournament Wednesday, at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

For second-round coverage, see Schenk Records Near-Record Round, in 3-Way Tie for Farmers Open Lead.

The 70th anniversary edition of the $8.4 million Farmers Insurance Open began Wednesday at Torrey Pines Golf Course, with Billy Horschel atop the leaderboard.

The Florida native shot a 9-under 63 in the opening round, followed by Michael Thompson, with an 8-under 64. Stephan Jaeger and Kevin Tway tied for third at 7-under 65.

Rickie Fowler, who attended high school in Murrieta, was one of four players tied in fifth place with a 6-under 66, including Jon Rahm.

The 156-player field includes 25 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, led by Spaniard Rahm, No. 1 in the world. Rahm won the 2021 U.S. Open on Torrey Pines’ South Course and his first PGA Tour victory came at the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open.

Rahm finished in an eight-way tie for 14th in The American Express tourney which concluded Sunday in La Quinta, nine shots behind winner Hudson Swafford.

“Hopefully I can tidy up a couple details in the next few weeks,” Rahm said, “but hopefully I can start playing good this week.”

The field includes another 2021 major tournament winner – PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson, who was born and raised in San Diego, along with 2021 Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele, a San Diego State and Scripps Ranch High School graduate.

Schauffele had his best finish in his six previous Farmers Insurance Opens in 2021, tying for second after missing the cut in four of his first five appearances in the tournament.

On Thursday, Schauffele posted a 4-under 68, five shots off the pace, while Pat Perez shot an even par 72. J.J. Spaun, another SDSU grad, shot a 1-over 73.

Mickelson brought up the rear among the local golfers, with a 4-over 76.

The field will be reduced to the top 70 players and ties following the second round. The first two rounds are played on both the North and South courses. The final two rounds will be only on the South Course.

The winner receives $1.512 million.

Grounds tickets are $75 Wednesday and Thursday and $85 Friday and Saturday.

The tournament will be televised on Golf Channel beginning at noon Thursday and Friday and 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The action shifts to CBS at 2 p.m. Friday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

– Staff and wire reports

Updated 8:55 p.m. Jan. 26, 2022