January 24, 2014
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Twelve months ago Jordan Spieth didn't even make it to the weekend in his debut as a professional at Torrey Pines.
What a difference a year makes.
Spieth shot 63 Friday to get to 10 under and a one-shot lead over Stewart Cink halfway through the Farmers Insurance Open.
"It seems like three or four years ago, it really does, with all of last year, what it encompassed," Spieth said of his last trip here when he had to play a Thursday qualifier just to get into a Monday qualifier to eventually get into the tournament.
In the months since, all Spieth has done is become the first teenager to win on the PGA TOUR in more than 80 years, get selected for The Presidents Cup and win Rookie of the Year, an award he received earlier this week.
"I've been feeling great since I got here," said Spieth, who was one off matching his career low round. "I'm striking the ball really well."
Defending champion Tiger Woods, on the other hand, has struggled to do just that. Playing alongside Spieth, Woods stumbled to a 1-under 71 on Torrey Pines' North Course, hitting just five fairways and making only two birdies to go with one bogey.
"I wouldn't say (my game is) rusty," said Woods, who is making his 2014 debut this week. "It was just a fraction off and, you know, at this level and on golf courses like this, if you're just a fraction off it doesn't take much."
Woods enters the weekend nine shots off the lead.
Phil Mickelson, who is also a past winner here, struggled as well. Playing with a sore back, he shot 73 on the more difficult South Course and is a stroke ahead of Woods on the leaderboard.
Meanwhile, Cink, who led overnight, shot 71 on the South Course to stay in contention. Nicolas Colsaerts is another stroke back after a 67, while Billy Horschel and Marc Leishman are each at 7 under.