LOS ANGELES (AP) Retief Goosen handled the tough conditions at Riviera so well on Friday that it brought back some fond memories.
Sure, he’s a two-time U.S. Open champion, and the Northern Trust Open drew some comparisons to golf’s toughest test with its firm, fast conditions. For now, Goosen was just thrilled to be in the lead going into the weekend at any tournament.
Goosen rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on his final hole for a 1-under 70 and his first 36-hole lead in more than four years.
He was one shot ahead of Ryan Moore (68), Graham DeLaet (67) and Justin Thomas, the 21-year-old rookie who already has been in the weekend hunt twice this year. Thomas made three crucial par saves on his final nine holes for a 69.
It’s easy to mention U.S. Open when the scores are high, especially on a course that once hosted one. But there was nothing easy about Riviera. Goosen was at 6-under 136, the highest 36-hole score to lead on the PGA Tour since the Quicken Loans National at Congressional, another U.S. Open venue.
Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera made two bogeys over his last three holes for a 68 and was two shots behind. Defending champion Bubba Watson (69), Jordan Spieth (70) and J.B. Holmes (69) were in the group three shots behind.
WOMEN’S AUSTRALIAN OPEN
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Top-ranked Lydia Ko holed out from 125 yards for eagle on the par-4 15th hole and finished with a 3-under 70 for a share of the lead in the Women’s Australian Open.
The 17-year-old New Zealander – playing her second tournament since becoming the youngest player, male or female, to earn the top ranking – matched South Korea’s Jang Ha-na and Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn at 6-under 140 at Royal Melbourne. Jang had a 69, and Jutanugarn shot 71.
England’s Charley Hull was fourth at 4 under after a 71.
NEW DELHI (AP) – India’s Shiv Chowrasia shot a 4-under 67 to take the Indian Open lead.
Chowrasia, a two-time winner on the European Tour, had a 10-under 132 total on Delhi Golf Club’s Lodhi Course. Defending champion Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh was a stroke back after a 68.
The tournament is part of the European Tour for the first time.