The big names struggled on the opening day of the Genesis Open after Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas all found themselves down the leaderboard.

Big names struggle at Genesis Open

Big names struggle at Genesis Open

In a star-studded field at the Riviera Country Club, in Los Angeles, it was one-time PGA Tour winners Tony Finau and Patrick Cantlay who found themselves as co-leaders after five-under rounds of 66.

That was six shots better than Woods’ 72 after the former world number one endured an up and down day – several wild drives contrasting with some gutsy recoveries.

Woods’ round featured a double bogey at the 11th after his tee shot got stranded in a tree, but it was also dotted with five birdies.

“It was alright. I made really silly bogeys out there. But overall I thought I hung in there well and grinded,” Woods said.

"I was one under early and all of a sudden I went double-bogey, bogey. I was like, 'I've got to somehow turn this thing around', and I was able to do that. I fought hard to try and keep that momentum going.

"I'm not that far off to really putting some good numbers out there. I've got to clean up my card – there are too many bogeys out there. If I can just clean that up, I can start making my way up the board."

Playing partner McIlroy also enjoyed a tough day with a 71, although he did sink an eagle on the 503-yard first.

Reigning PGA champion Thomas was slightly better with a 69, but Phil Mickelson (70), Jordan Spieth (71) and Dustin Johnson (74) were all off the pace.

Co-leaders Finau and Cantlay hold a one-shot advantage from the chasing trio of Sam Saunders, Tom Hoge and Dominic Bozzelli.


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