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Why Friday provides a big opportunity for Rory McIlroy to reel in NINE shot gap to leader Jon Rahm at Farmers Insurance Open

Rory McIlroy might be a full nine shots behind leader Jon Rahm after round one of the Farmers Insurance Open but there's a reason for optimism.

That's because the two players were on different courses, Rahm on Torrey Pines' more accessible North Course while McIlroy was on the more difficult South Course.

Spaniard Rahm carded seven birdies and two eagles on his way to a 10 under par 62 while Rory converted two birdie chances, including one on the 18th, for a one under par total - one shot behind Tiger Woods, who also played the North Course.

The courses will be reversed on Friday, with Rory and his length well suited to a good score on the North Course while Rahm and the rest of the leading pack will surely be more tested on the South.

Rory is five shots behind the best players who played the South Course on day one - Brandon Hagy, Chris Stroud and Charles Howell III all on -6.

The other Irish golfer in the field, Seamus Power, was one of only nine North Course players to shoot over par, carding a disappointing four over par 76.

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