Gary Woodland holed a 17-foot birdie putt to complete a 5-under-par 67 on the South Course and tie for the lead with K.J. Choi of South Korea midway through the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla.
Woodland did his best work while shooting 5-under 31 on the front nine, making five birdies, including three in a row through No. 6.
“It was nice to make that putt (on No. 18), but when you have an iron coming in on that hole you expect to make birdie,” said Woodland, who has won twice on the PGA Tour, but not since the 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open “I’m playing well right now and this course suits me.
“I’m comfortable with my game and I’m comfortable with my new equipment, and good things are happening. I’m very confident and I’m hitting the ball a long way. It’s nice to be able to hit mid-irons into the par-5s.”
Choi, who has eight victories on the PGA Tour including the 2011 Players Championship, collected seven birdies while recording a 67 on the easier North Course.
Dustin Johnson was one stroke back in solo third after a bogey-free 68 on the North Course, while Martin Laird of Scotland had a 68 on the North and was another stroke behind in a tie for fourth with first-round co-leader Scott Brown, who finished at 71 on the North, and Billy Horschel, who carded a 70 on the South with birdies on his last two holes.
John Huh of Los Angeles and Cal State Northridge posted a 69 on the South and was three shots back in a tie for seventh with Freddie Jacobson (69-North) of Sweden, Kevin Streelman (69-North), Si Woo Kim (68-South), of South Korea, Chad Campbell (66-North), J.B. Holmes (68-South) and Rob Oppenheim (71-South).
Among those who missed the cut of 143 were Justin Rose (71-73–144) of England, Rickie Fowler (73-71–144) of Murrieta, 2015 Rookie of the Year Daniel Berger (72-72–144), three-time tournament champion Phil Mickelson (69-76–145) and defending champion Jason Day (72-74–146), who was battling the flu.