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Johnson overpowers Poppy to lead

By DOUG FERGUSON
Associated Press

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Dustin Johnson poured in one last birdie at Poppy Hills, a quick putt from 7 feet above the hole that broke sharply into cup for a 5-under 67 and a four-stroke lead Saturday in the AT&T National Pro-Am.

There to celebrate his third straight round in the 60s were no more than about two dozen fans.

It was easy to overlook Johnson on Saturday, for the crowds typically flock to Pebble Beach to watch the celebrities and their follies. But if he can put together one more round, the 24-year-old Johnson will be difficult to ignore.

By overpowering the par 5s at Poppy Hills – birdies on all of them, with three eagle attempts – Johnson seized control at Pebble Beach and was poised to capture his second PGA Tour event in his last nine starts.

Johnson, a natural athlete with buckets of talent, didn’t get as much attention as other players in their 20s last year, such as Anthony Kim and Camilo Villegas. Then again, his lone victory came at Turning Stone, part of the Fall Series, when the stars stay home.

Another victory would put him in the conversation of rising young stars, put him into the top 50 in the world to qualify for the Accenture Match Play Championship and make him eligible for the first two majors, including his first trip to the Masters.

“I think I proved I can play with these guys,” Johnson said. “If I play better a few more times, I’ll get all the credit I need.”

Johnson was at 15-under 201 and will be in the final group with Mike Weir, who had a 69 at Spyglass Hill.

The big question is whether anyone gets to play.

Spots of sunshine returned to the Monterey Peninsula for the third straight day as the celebrities took over Pebble Beach, but the forecast is gloomy for the final round – an 80 percent chance of rain, expected to be heavy at times.

Pebble Beach has not had a Monday finish since Tiger Woods’ great rally in 2000, and it was 10 years ago this week when the late Payne Stewart birdied his final hole for a one-shot lead after 54 holes, which turned into victory when rain shortened the tournament.

Johnson appears to be in good shape either way.

Weir was plodding along at Spyglass Hill until he holed a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-3 fifth hole, then hit the ball as well as he ever has. The former Masters champion hit a hybrid for his second shot to 8 feet on the sixth, a 3-wood to 6 feet on the par-3 seventh, and a 5-iron to 5 feet on the eighth. Trouble is, he missed all the putts.

But he knocked in a 20-foot birdie putt on the last hole for a 69 that put him in the last group Sunday.

“That putt on the last hole made it a little nicer finish,” Weir said.

Retief Goosen was not so fortunate. Even after opening the tournament with rounds of 68-64, the two-time U.S. Open champion was concerned about how poorly he was hitting the ball, especially off the tee. That caught up to him at Spyglass, where he shot a 74 to fall five shots behind.

There was a mixture of laughs and groans at Pebble Beach, although sometimes it was tough to tell the celebrity from the pro.

Bill Murray strutted to the hole after a birdie putt, wearing a feather and a heart in his cap in honor of Valentine’s Day. Perhaps the most fitting scene was eight-time national surfing champion Kelly Slater going down to the beach – with a wedge, not a board – to play back toward the green. The next shot wound up in some kelp.

And then there was Phil Mickelson, putting up another big number.

Mickelson, who took an 11 on the 14th hole last year, was quietly putting together a good round and looked as though he would break 70 for the first time this year until he hooked a 5-iron off a cart path and out-of-bounds on the par-3 12th, leading to a triple bogey. Lefty rallied, however, smoking a tee shot with the wind at his back on the 18th, leaving him a 5-iron into the green for a two-putt birdie to make the cut on the number.

His comrades in the top five of the world ranking were not so fortunate. Padraig Harrington broke par for the first time this week with a 71 at Spyglass, but he missed the cut. So did Vijay Singh, playing for the first time since minor knee surgery the week after Kapalua.

Johnson’s lead is the largest at Pebble Beach since Mickelson had a seven-shot margin in 2005.

“It’s probably been in college since the last time I had a pretty big lead,” Johnson said.

But he doesn’t plan to be conservative, which is not a bad idea. Weir has seen how quickly fortunes can change at Pebble in any weather. It was three years ago when Weir was tied for the 54-hole lead with Arron Oberholser, and three holes into the final round he was five shots behind.

“You don’t really go away from your game plan at all,” said Johnson, who began the tournament with a 65 at Pebble Beach. “I played well here the first day, and looking forward to tomorrow. Not going to change the game plan at all.”

Divots: David Toms, who was No. 66 in the world and hopeful of moving into the top 64 to qualify for the Accenture Match Play Championship, missed the cut by four shots. Had he taken the week off, Toms likely would have moved into the top 64. … Davis Love III shot a 70 at Poppy Hills and was at 5-under 211, but he’ll have to go it alone on Sunday. He and his amateur partner, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, did not make the pro-am cut.

Scores with relation to par from the first round of the AT&T PebbleBeach National Pro-Am, played Feb. 12 at the par-72, 6,816-yard PebbleBeach Golf Links (b), par-72, 6,833-yard Poppy Hills Golf Course (p),and par-72, 6,858-yard Spyglass Hill Golf Course (s) in Pebble Beach,Calif.:

1. Dustin Johnson 65b-69s-67p–201

-15 2. Mike Weir 67p-69b-69s–205

-11 3. Retief Goosen 68p-64b-74s–206

-10 4. Bob Estes 68p-72b-67s–207

-9 4. Mark Calcavecchia 67p-69b-71s–207

-9 6. D.J. Trahan 67b-73s-68p–208

-8 6. Kevin Chappell 68s-72p-68b–208

-8 6. Bill Lunde 67b-70s-71p–208

-8 6. Chris Stroud 69p-69b-70s–208

-8 10. Sean O'Hair 71p-68b-70s–209

-7 10. Shigeki Maruyama 69b-73s-67p–209

-7 10. Mark Brooks 68b-69s-72p–209

-7 10. Kenny Perry 71p-70b-68s–209

-7 14. Vaughn Taylor 66b-75s-69p–210

-6 14. Charley Hoffman 66s-70p-74b–210

-6 14. Ted Purdy 68b-72s-70p–210

-6 14. Jason Day 67b-75s-68p–210

-6 14. Spencer Levin 71b-70s-69p–210

-6 14. Charlie Wi 68b-69s-73p–210

-6 14. Matt Kuchar 71b-71s-68p–210

-6 14. Kevin Stadler 71p-71b-68s–210

-6 22. Derek Fathauer 71p-71b-69s–211

-5 22. Nick Watney 75p-69b-67s–211

-5 22. Y.E. Yang 69b-70s-72p–211

-5 22. Tim Herron 72s-68p-71b–211

-5 22. Jeff Quinney 68b-73s-70p–211

-5 22. Len Mattiace 69b-72s-70p–211

-5 22. Jeff Overton 69b-70s-72p–211

-5 22. Tim Clark 71s-71p-69b–211

-5 22. Davis Love III 69b-72s-70p–211

-5 22. Richard S. Johnson 71p-70b-70s–211

-5 22. Michael Allen 67b-71s-73p–211

-5 33. Arjun Atwal 68b-73s-71p–212

-4 33. Jeff Klauk 73p-72b-67s–212

-4 33. Steve Lowery 70b-69s-73p–212

-4 33. John Mallinger 72b-71s-69p–212

-4 33. Jim Furyk 71s-70p-71b–212

-4 33. Aron Price 68p-69b-75s–212

-4 39. Michael Letzig 69s-73p-71b–213

-3 39. James Oh 73p-72b-68s–213

-3 39. David Mathis 71b-75s-67p–213

-3 39. Glen Day 73s-70p-70b–213

-3 39. Rich Beem 66b-75s-72p–213

-3 39. Pat Perez 73s-71p-69b–213

-3 39. Scott Gutschewski 71b-72s-70p–213

-3 39. Frank Lickliter II 72p-71b-70s–213

-3 39. Robert Garrigus 65s-71p-77b–213

-3 39. Peter Tomasulo 71p-70b-72s–213

-3 39. Greg Owen 68b-73s-72p–213

-3 39. Mark Wilson 70p-73b-70s–213

-3 39. Troy Matteson 73b-71s-69p–213

-3 39. Charles Howell III 72s-70p-71b–213

-3 39. Charles Warren 74b-69s-70p–213

-3 39. Jay Williamson 70p-75b-68s–213

-3 55. J.J. Henry 71p-72b-71s–214

-2 55. Jason Dufner 75b-68s-71p–214

-2 55. Chris Smith 70b-75s-69p–214

-2 55. Brad Adamonis 71b-72s-71p–214

-2 55. Marc Leishman 72p-73b-69s–214

-2 55. Mathew Goggin 70s-73p-71b–214

-2 55. David Duval 73b-72s-69p–214

-2 55. K.J. Choi 69b-75s-70p–214

-2 55. Phil Mickelson 72s-71p-71b–214

-2 55. Rick Price 70p-72b-72s–214

-2 55. Jimmy Walker 71p-73b-70s–214

-2 55. Matt Jones 71p-71b-72s–214

-2 55. J.B. Holmes 74p-68b-72s–214

-2 55. Brendon de Jonge 69b-74s-71p–214

-2 • • •

Made cut/Did not finish

69. Chris Kirk 73b-73s-69p–215

-1 69. Brian Vranesh 68p-74b-73s–215

-1 69. John Ellis 69p-74b-72s–215

-1 69. Bob Heintz 71b-69s-75p–215

-1 69. James Driscoll 73p-70b-72s–215

-1 69. Dean Wilson 68p-71b-76s–215

-1 69. Hunter Mahan 72b-71s-72p–215

-1 69. Jarrod Lyle 72b-73s-70p–215

-1 69. Ricky Barnes 69b-75s-71p–215

-1 69. Todd Fischer 72p-69b-74s–215

-1 69. Eric Axley 72b-72s-71p–215

-1 69. Matt Weibring 70s-70p-75b–215

-1 • • •

Missed the cut

81. Fredrik Jacobson 68s-73p-75b–216

E 81. Ryan Moore 72s-67p-77b–216

E 81. Brandt Snedeker 71s-71p-74b–216

E 81. Jonathan Byrd 71p-74b-71s–216

E 81. Fred Couples 73s-70p-73b–216

E 81. Paul Goydos 68b-77s-71p–216

E 81. Webb Simpson 71s-74p-71b–216

E 81. Ken Duke 71s-72p-73b–216

E 81. Jonathan Kaye 69b-73s-74p–216

E 81. Jason Gore 75s-69p-72b–216

E 81. Kevin Streelman 70s-75p-71b–216

E 81. Omar Uresti 71p-72b-73s–216

E 81. Corey Pavin 74s-70p-72b–216

E 81. Tom Scherrer 68s-74p-74b–216

E 95. Will MacKenzie 70s-69p-78b–217
+ 1 95. Leif Olson 75b-74s-68p–217
+ 1 95. Joe Ogilvie 71b-74s-72p–217
+ 1 95. Joel Sjoholm 70p-76b-71s–217
+ 1 95. Jesper Parnevik 73s-71p-73b–217
+ 1 95. Brian Davis 72s-71p-74b–217
+ 1 95. Darron Stiles 73p-72b-72s–217
+ 1 95. Parker McLachlin 76s-73p-68b–217
+ 1 95. Lee Janzen 71b-73s-73p–217
+ 1 95. Billy Andrade 74p-72b-71s–217
+ 1 95. Steve Elkington 67s-75p-75b–217
+ 1 95. Alex Cejka 73p-69b-75s–217
+ 1 95. Greg Chalmers 71p-72b-74s–217
+ 1 108. Kevin Na 71p-77b-70s–218
+ 2 108. Colt Knost 72p-73b-73s–218
+ 2 108. Andrew Magee 74p-70b-74s–218
+ 2 108. Dudley Hart 71p-72b-75s–218
+ 2 108. Padraig Harrington 74p-73b-71s–218
+ 2 108. Paul Stankowski 74s-71p-73b–218
+ 2 108. Wil Collins 74b-74s-70p–218
+ 2 108. Bo Van Pelt 70s-73p-75b–218
+ 2 108. Jeff Maggert 69s-72p-77b–218
+ 2 108. Steve Flesch 72b-72s-74p–218
+ 2 108. Tom Lehman 71p-74b-73s–218
+ 2 108. Todd Hamilton 71p-71b-76s–218
+ 2 108. Kris Blanks 76b-72s-70p–218
+ 2 121. Tim Petrovic 72s-72p-75b–219
+ 3 121. Joe Durant 73s-73p-73b–219
+ 3 121. Tom Pernice, Jr. 72p-74b-73s–219
+ 3 121. Tag Ridings 72p-73b-74s–219
+ 3 121. Bryce Molder 76s-68p-75b–219
+ 3 121. Rob Grube 72p-72b-75s–219
+ 3 121. Kirk Triplett 71s-78p-70b–219
+ 3 121. Chris DiMarco 70s-74p-75b–219
+ 3 121. David Toms 74b-75s-70p–219
+ 3 121. Daniel Chopra 75p-71b-73s–219
+ 3 121. Ryan Palmer 74s-73p-72b–219
+ 3 121. Scott Sterling 77s-72p-70b–219
+ 3 133. Olin Browne 72p-75b-73s–220
+ 4 133. Marco Dawson 76s-70p-74b–220
+ 4 133. Matt Bettencourt 68p-73b-79s–220
+ 4 133. Brett Quigley 72s-72p-76b–220
+ 4 133. Chris Riley 75s-70p-75b–220
+ 4 133. Casey Wittenberg 72b-72s-76p–220
+ 4 133. Tyler Aldridge 70b-76s-74p–220
+ 4 140. Kevin Sutherland 74s-72p-75b–221
+ 5 140. Kent Jones 72s-74p-75b–221
+ 5 140. Brad Faxon 72s-73p-76b–221
+ 5 140. Clint Jensen 76s-69p-76b–221
+ 5 140. Craig Barlow 73b-70s-78p–221
+ 5 140. Brian Bateman 71b-74s-76p–221
+ 5 140. Tommy Gainey 71s-74p-76b–221
+ 5 147. Michael Thompson 72b-75s-75p–222
+ 6 147. Bobby Clampett 75b-76s-71p–222
+ 6 147. Vijay Singh 72p-75b-75s–222
+ 6 147. Gary Woodland 71s-72p-79b–222
+ 6 151. Nicholas Thompson 73s-75p-75b–223
+ 7 151. Johnson Wagner 73b-76s-74p–223
+ 7 151. Steve Allan 73s-70p-80b–223
+ 7 151. Matthew Borchert 72b-74s-77p–223
+ 7 151. Paul McGinley 72p-77b-74s–223
+ 7 151. Brent Geiberger 73p-75b-75s–223
+ 7 157. John Huston 70b-76s-78p–224
+ 8 157. Jason Bohn 75p-73b-76s–224
+ 8 157. Patrick Sheehan 77s-74p-73b–224
+ 8 157. Aaron Watkins 73b-75s-76p–224
+ 8 157. Carlos Franco 75p-79b-70s–224
+ 8 157. Notah Begay III 76s-70p-78b–224
+ 8 157. Skip Kendall 75s-73p-76b–224
+ 8 164. Scott McCarron 74s-77p-74b–225
+ 9 164. J.P. Hayes 72b-76s-77p–225
+ 9 164. Zack Miller 69b-79s-77p–225
+ 9 164. Brendon Todd 74p-73b-78s–225
+ 9 168. Robert Gamez 76p-74b-76s–226
+ 10 168. Greg Kraft 74s-72p-80b–226
+ 10 168. Tommy Armour III 76s-78p-72b–226
+ 10 168. Kyle Thompson 78s-71p-77b–226
+ 10 172. Robert Damron 77p-69b-81s–227
+ 11 172. D.A. Points 73s-79p-75b–227
+ 11 174. Dicky Pride 77s-77p-74b–228
+ 12 175. Jay Delsing 79s-75p-75b–229
+ 13 176. Marc Turnesa 77p-75b-78s–230
+ 14 177. Troy Kelly 75p-79b-78s–232
+ 16 178. Jason Schmuhl 76p-80b-81s–237
+ 21 179. Robert Floyd 80b-80s-87p–247
+ 31 DQ. Garrett Willis 75s-76p-72b–223–DQ

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