PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — Big moves were made Friday in the second round of the Northern Trust Open. A few new faces jumped on to the leaderboard and the tournament’s defending champ packed it up after missing the cut. Here’s all you need to know going into the weekend at Riviera Country Club.
Sang-Moon Bae took a 9-under (133) lead with a 5-under 66. The Korean played a steady and solid bogey-free round, benefitting from an early tee-time before the greens began to play too fast.
"Patience is one of the strongest points of my game," Bae said. "This course is very tricky. I always aim to focus on my patience, that’s it."
Last year, he had a share of the lead after two rounds but fell apart in the third. But it was only his first time playing in this event and his first go-around at Riviera. This year, he feels like he’s learned to navigate the course better.
Tied for second just one shot off the lead is Aaron Baddeley and Robert Garrigus. Baddeley moved up 16 positions after shooting a 65. He finished off his round with four-straight birdies, and he’s one to watch through the next two days. Aside from his precision putting, he has had past success here with a win in 2011 and two other top-15 finishes.
But the player at the top that might need the top-10 finish the most is Garrigus, who hasn’t had one in nearly a year.
"The state of my game, I fell off," Garrigus said. "That’s golf. I think a good finish here would really help everything. Not even winning, just being here through the weekend and feeling the nerves and going out there and being on TV and having fun.
"Iâm going to go out and smash it around and see what happens."
Dustin Johnson’s 70 puts him at 6-under (136). But a few other notables, such as Jim Furyk and Charl Schwartzel are all up there with him, tied for fifth.
Jordan Spieth managed to avoid the trees and the rough Friday and turned in a much-improved 66. It’s become clear this course is all about making putts and Spieth was able to make a few saves with his putter to stay in contention.
"It played easier than yesterday just because of the way the greens were," Spieth said. "I drove the ball well on my back nine today, went on a streak of about 11 or 12 holes with a driver where I didn’t hit the fairway and then I hit the last five of them, so that feels good."
Play was suspended at 5:50pm 6 Players didnt finish. Play will resume at 7am Third round action starts approx 7:45 am on Saturday #PGATOUR
Jimmy Walker, however, wasn’t swinging it quite as well. Tied for 14th (4-under, 138) along with Spieth, he moved down 12 spots and is now five off the lead.
"Today was one of those days where I just wasn’t hitting it," Walker said. "Didn’t have great control over the things that were going on and just keeping it in front and trying to get up-and-down when I could."
Long Beach native and former UCLA golfer John Merrick missed the cut, as did the other two out of Long Beach, John Mallinger and Paul Goydos.
Jason Allred playing with nothing to lose, proving effective
Mission Viejo’s Cameron Tringale is in good position, going 1-under Friday for a 4-under 138 total.
Former UC Riverside golfer Brendan Steele is the sole representative from the Big West Conference left in the field this week.
For Valencia, Max Homa, the NCAA Champion, was cut but Jason Gore, a Monday qualifier, made the cut at 2-under on the week, as did his two Pepperdine teammates Jason Allred (5-under, T9) and Michael Putnam (even, T55).
The 405 closure won’t just effect the locals. If Garrigus’ caddie doesn’t leave early enough tomorrow he may not have one for the third round.
However, should his caddie hit traffic, Garrigus knows it will be all his fault.
"It’s actually a pretty nice week if you stay in Santa Monica. But if you stay anywhere other than, it’s a nightmare," Garrigus said. "My caddie, I’m sure has paid close attention. I’m sure he has to get on the 405. He didn’t want to stay in Santa Monica because I don’t pay him 10 grand a week."