La Jolla, CA—World No. 1 Jon Rahm birdied three of his last four holes on Thursday to pull into a tie for first place with Adam Schenk at the of the Farmers Insurance Open in La Jolla, Calif.
This year the Farmers Insurance Open is being played Wednesday through Saturday to avoid a television conflict with the NFL’s two conference championship games on Sunday.
Schenk made eight straight birdies to shoot a career-low, 10-under 62, along with Rahm (65) and Thomas (63) at 13-under 131.
Rahm, who won the tournament in 2017, returned to Torrey Pines and got to lift his first major championship trophy at last year’s U.S. Open. He said those experiences weren’t comparable to his situation this week because he won those events from behind.
“A U.S. Open is very, very different. I believe I was 3 under through two rounds and I was thrilled with that score,” Rahm said. “At (13) under right now and I think how much better it could have been if I hit fairways, right? So it’s not comparable.”
All three co-leaders played the North Course at Torrey Pines for their second round after opening the event at the South Course. The three leads Cameron Tringale (65 Thursday) by a shot and Peter Malnati (66) by two strokes.
After starting on the back nine of the North Course with five birdies and a bogey, Rahm avoided bogey the rest of the evening while birdieing the sixth through eighth holes en route to a 7-under day.
Schenk started his day with a series of birdies on the fourth hole and ended it on No. 11. He also birdied No. 16 and 17 in his bogey-free round.
“I lost track of how many I made in a row, but there was a lot of low scores on the North Course yesterday and I knew there was a lot of gettable holes and I needed to keep going if I wanted to get up on top of the leaderboard and hopefully stay there throughout the weekend,” Schenk said. “So I know I had to try to keep the pedal down and not get satisfied with how many birdies I made.”
Justin Thomas, playing the Farmers Insurance Open for the first time since 2015, had nine birdies in his bogey-free round.
“I played well, I drove it well, something you’ve got to do out here on the North Course,” Thomas said. “I mean, both courses, but if you drive it well, you’ve got a lot of wedges, a lot of short holes, four par-5s. Made some nice putts when I needed to, just kind of some of those short mid-rangers and it was a solid day.”
Cameron Tringale shot a 65 on the North Course and was one shot behind the trio. Peter Malnati was two back after a 66 on the same course.
Billy Horschel, who opened with a 63 on the North, struggled through a 1-over 73 on the South and fell five shots off the leader board. He made a double-bogey 6 on No. 14.
The featured afternoon threesome of Jordan Spieth (78), Rickie Fowler (76) and Bryson DeChambeau (72) all missed the cut, with the big-swinging DeChambeau grabbing at his lower back in apparent pain on several occasions.
The final two rounds will be played on the South Course.