Nicolai Hojgaard defies jetlag as Kevin Yu takes early lead

The Danish star is three shots off the pace after equalling best round of the day on the South Course at Torrey Pines.

Nicolai Hojgaard looks over his putt on the second hole (Gregory Bull/AP)
Farmers Insurance Open Golf Nicolai Hojgaard looks over his putt on the second hole (Gregory Bull/AP) (Gregory Bull/AP)

Taiwan’s Kevin Yu fired eight birdies as he took a one-shot lead after the first round of The Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.

Yu carded a bogey-free 64 on the North Course at Torrey Pines, a birdie at the last edging him ahead of America’s Patrick Cantlay and Japan’s Ryo Hisatsune.

Ireland’s Shane Lowry and England’s Aaron Rai are among a group a further shot back after opening 66s, along with former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, Belgium’s Thomas Detry and Alejandro Tosti of Argentina.

Nicolai Hojgaard, who finished seventh at the Dubai Desert Classic last week, and America’s Nick Hardy were the best of those who started on the more difficult South Course – their 67s leaving them amid a large group on five-under-par.

Hojgaard’s first start as a full-time member of the PGA Tour came despite jetlag and just nine holes on the North Course in practice.

“You’ve got to try to find a way,” the Danish Ryder Cup star told the PGA Tour website. “I’ll just push myself until we feel like the jetlag’s gone.”

“I think sometimes you can take advantage of not knowing the golf course and you’re just thinking about your execution. I felt like that was the only thing I was doing today.”