Defending Farmers Insurance Open champion Brandt Snedeker shot a bogey-free 65 on the North Course, putting him in the clubhouse lead at -7.
Snedeker won last year in a surprising turn of events when Kyle Stanley imploded on the 72nd hole taking an eight and eventually losing on the second playoff hole.
In the opening round Thursday, Snedeker drove the ball perfectly finishing the day with three straight birdies.
Tiger Woods finished two behind the leader despite a 39-foot eagle bunker shot on the par-5 sixth hole.
Snedeker began the tournament Thursday alongside San Diego native Phil Mickelson who had garnered a lot of media attention this week when he said he may leave the state of California because of new tax laws.
Masters champion Bubba Watson was slated to tee off with Snedeker and Mickelson but announced he was withdrawing from the competition because of an illness.
Watson won the tournament two years ago with a birdie putt on the final hole.
He tweeted Thursday that he was pulling out of the competition because he didn’t have the energy. Watson had a stomach illness at Kapalua during the Tournament of Champions, where he tied for fourth.
He was replaced in the field by Billy Mayfair.
Conditions were great early Thursday despite the scattered showers according to tournament spokesperson Mark Toohey.
It was raining off and on before tee-off but organizers say the weather won't affect play unless it comes down really hard.
The chatter and speculation hasn't stopped since the players arrived at Torrey Pines earlier in the week.
"When Tiger and Phil are in the field, good things happen," Toohey said.
Phil Mickelson is celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the first of his three PGA Tour wins at Torrey Pines, his home course on tour.
This tournament brings in about $38 million locally organizers said.