01/24/2013 07:42 EST | Updated 03/26/2013 05:12 EDT

Brandt Snedeker takes big step toward defending; Tiger Woods 3 shots behind at Torrey Pines

SAN DIEGO - Brandt Snedeker ended another round at Torrey Pines atop the leaderboard. Only this time he had company, and still a long way to go.

Snedeker, the defending champion, played bogey-free on the North Course for a 7-under 65 on Thursday that gave him a share of the lead with K.J. Choi in the Farmers Insurance Open. Give the edge to Choi, who birdied three of his last four holes on the tougher South Course for a 65.

Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., and Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., who both played the North Course, are among eight players who are a shot back at 66. Weir opened his round with an eagle-3.

Tiger Woods, a seven-time champion at Torrey Pines, was in range of the lead until two bogeys on the last four holes, and having to scramble for par on the par-5 18th hole on the South for a 68.

Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., had a 68 on the North.

Ottawa's Brad Fritsch is another shot back with a 3-under 69 on the North Course, while Calgary's Stephen Ames turned in a 70 on the North.

Phil Mickelson had a 72 on the North.

David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., carded a 72 on the South.