Robert Allenby let his golf do the talking with a solid opening round at the US PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines.
In just his second event since an injured Allenby reported being robbed and beaten on a night out in Hawaii, he fired a two-under-par 70 on Torrey Pines north course to join Greg Chalmers as the leading Australians in a fog-interrupted incomplete round.
Playing together, the pair sit tied 29th while American Nicholas Thompson has the clubhouse lead after an eight-under 64 on the north course, one clear of countryman Michael Thompson (65, north course).
Players alternate between the north and more difficult south course for the first two rounds before those who survive the cut play the last two on the south.
After his round, Allenby was reluctant to comment further on the Hawaii incident, having addressed it several times.
He actually prefers the tougher south course.
“I played all right,” he said. “I didn’t really do much but didn’t knock myself out of the tournament either and I was happy to make a few birdies towards the end.
“I never really do that great on the north course. Everyone says you should shoot four, five or six under but you do that by playing the par fives well, which I didn’t do well today.”
Allenby played the four par fives one-over par despite having irons in all four times.
“I was hitting good shots but getting a little screwed at times,” he said.
I hit a good three-iron into 18, just miss the green and get the worst lie ever so end up with par and I made bogey on the first from a foot off the green in two and missed a short putt on nine, so it could have been three better just on the par fives.
“But it is what it is and I am looking forward to getting over to the south and doing something good to move up the boards.”
Chalmers, playing with Allenby, and in his first event since winning the Australian PGA Championship in December, was happy to find little rust in his game.
“I was pleased. I was a bit concerned after a long break I’d be rusty but I felt good out there,” he said.
“It’s nice to be under par in the first round back.”
Aaron Baddeley (71) and Cameron Percy (-1, through 16) were the only other Australians under par, having played the north.
John Senden briefly held a share of second place late in his round on the north but dropped five shots in his last seven holes to shoot 72.
Marc Leishman was even through 17 on the south while Jason Day (17 holes south), Cameron Smith (73 north) and Jarrod Lyle (73 north) were at one-over.
Stuart Appleby struggled to be four-over through 15 holes on the south but he fared better than former world No.1 Tiger Woods who withdrew with a back complaint after 11 holes.