SAN DIEGO - Seemingly unaffected by the rain falling throughout his round Friday, Tiger Woods fired a 7-under 65 on the North Course at Torrey Pines to take a two-shot lead after 36 holes at the Farmers Insurance Open.
After starting slowly, Woods found his groove with a four-hole stretch in the middle of his round, one in which the 6-time Farmers champion carded three birdies and an eagle to assume the top spot on the leaderboard. Playing the easier of the two courses in rotation, Woods recorded six birdies and an eagle Friday against just a single bogey.
"There are certain golf courses where I've had some success," said Woods, who also won the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. "This is one of them."
At 11-under 133, Woods leads by two shots over Billy Horschel, who has now recorded seven straight rounds in the 60s after a 3-under 69 Friday. A group of players at 8 under, one shot further back, includes Erik Compton, who matched Woods' 65 on the North Course Friday, and Brad Fritsch, whose 5-under 67 was the day's best round on the more difficult South Course.
After holding a share of the lead following an opening-round 65, defending champion Brandt Snedeker was 10 shots worse Friday on the South Course, falling back to the pack in the process. At 4 under, Snedeker trails by seven shots heading into Saturday after a round in which the reigning FedEx Cup champion recorded only a single birdie, undone by an unusually balky putter.
Seemingly in position to advance to the weekend, Phil Mickelson bogeyed his final two holes, appearing to struggle with soggy conditions on the South Course en route to a 1-under 71. At 1 under after 36 holes, Mickelson ultimately made the cut on the number, and will be one of 87 players to tee it up on the South Course in the third round Saturday.