Brandt Snedeker and KJ Choi started well in California, as did Ross Fisher

Last Updated: 25/01/13 5:42pm

Defending champion Brandt Snedeker and KJ Choi share the lead after the opening day of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

American Snedeker clearly enjoys the course in La Jolla, California and sank seven birdies in a flawless seven-under-par round of 65, but he was joined later on by Choi, who had eight birdies and a bogey.

England's Ross Fisher is in a large group of eight players one shot off the pace while Tiger Woods, looking to improve on last week's missed cut in Abu Dhabi, is two shots further back after a 68.


US unless stated

-7 KJ Choi (Kor)
-7 B Snedeker
-6 R Fishers (Eng)
-6 M Weir (Can)
-6 S Stallings
-6 C Howell III
-6 B Horschel Click Here for full collated scores

Snedker teed off on the North Course and, playing the outward nine first, he made his first birdie at 14 before storming up the leaderboard by picking up shots at 16, 17, 18 and one, going on to add further birdies at seven and eight.

Choi played the South Course, usually regarded as the tougher of the two and, having also begun on the back nine, he reeled off five birdies in six holes from the 13th, although his dropped shot came at 17.

The Korean began his front nine with a sedate five pars in a row but then made three birdies on his last four holes, closing with a birdie four at the ninth to join Snedeker atop the leaderboard.

Fisher started at the 10th on the North Course and was one over after his second but that was his only dropped shot of the day and he made amends with birdies at 14, 17 and 18, before an impressive outward nine of 32.

He is right in the hunt, level with five Americans in the form of Josh Teater, Luke List, Billy Horschel, Charles Howell III and Scott Stallings, plus two Canadians, Adam Hadwin and former Masters champion Mike Weir.

Fisher's fellow Englishman David Lynn also got his week off to a good start with a five-under-par 67 on the North Course, which has left him in a nine-strong group who are two shots behind the leaders.

Woods played the South Course and he was one-over after a double-bogey at the fourth but hit back with a birdie at five and an eagle three at six.

Further birdies followed at eight, nine, 12 and 13, taking Woods to six-under, but he then dropped shots at 15 and 17, before holing a good putt to avoid another bogey at 18.

Another big-name American, Phil Mickelson, had a level-par round of 72 on the North Course.