Slow starts for Woods and McIlroy in California
Former world number ones Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy made low-key starts to the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club in California.
Woods lost his ball in a double bogey at his second hole and, despite five birdies, returned a one-over 72.
McIlroy holed from 27 feet for an eagle at his 10th and finished level, one behind England’s Tommy Fleetwood.
McIlroy’s fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell picked up three birdies in his first seven holes for a 69.
American Tom Hoge took the clubhouse lead, the world number 194 posting five birdies to reach four under.
Compatriot Derek Fathauer was at minus five after 10 but double bogeyed his 14th hole and finished with a 68.
Woods and McIlroy were joined in an illustrious grouping by PGA and FedEx Cup champion Justin Thomas and all three birdied their first hole of the morning, having started at the 10th.
McIlroy’s birdie came by an unlikely route. Having gone through the green into a bunker, he holed from the sand for a three – but he then dropped shots at the next two holes, before rescuing his round with a majestic three at the 503-yard first hole.
Woods, yet to win at the Riviera and without a title since 2013, was wayward with the driver in the early stages at the narrow, tree-lined course and he also hit the trees at his third hole.
The 42-year-old, now ranked 550 in the world, finished the day having hit eight of 14 fairways, seven of 18 greens in regulation and needing 25 putts.
Thomas was the pick of the marquee three-ball, with five birdies in a round of 69.
Crowd favourite Phil Mickelson had a typically eventful round, mixing four birdies and three bogeys in a 71, rolling a birdie chance around the cup which inexplicably remained on the edge, despite half the ball appearing to be below the lip of the hole.
Former world number one Luke Donald, the 40-year-old without a win since 2013 and now ranked 177, returned a level-par round despite two double bogeys.
The man currently at the top of the rankings, Dustin Johnson, was among the later starters but opened with a birdie four at the first.