Tour Tracker: D. Johnson leads at Riviera

Dustin Johnson during his first-round 66 at the PGA Tour's 2014 Northern Trust Open.

Dustin Johnson during his first-round 66 at the PGA Tour's 2014 Northern Trust Open.

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6:25:27 PM ET. 04/16/2014




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World No. 5 Justin Rose makes his return from a shoulder injury at this week's Northern Trust Open, in a stocked field that also includes Jason Dufner and Matt Kuchar.

Riviera CC, near Los Angeles, also has drawn the likes of Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Ian Poulter, Jordan Spieth and three-time 2013-14 winner Jimmy Walker. Oh, and for good measure, Rose will play in the same group as Dustin Johnson and Jim Furyk.

Johnson jumped out to the early lead with a 66 in the morning groups.

• See complete tee times and groupings for the second round right here.

• Early sales show Americans have Ryder Cup fever for 2014.

Keep up with all the highlights from the first round of the Northern Trust Open right here – and scroll down for our preview coverage this week!

• • •

Update No. 37: 8:51 p.m. EST

As the sun fades into the nearby Pacific, play has been suspended according to the Tour – and will restart at 7:30 a.m. local time without disrupting scheduled tee times.

Let's check in again on the 12 players in the top 20 of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings who are at Riviera this week:

  • 5. Matt Kuchar: T-109 after a 3-over 74
  • 7. Justin Rose: T-35 after a 1-under 70
  • 8. Webb Simpson: T-35 after a 1-under 70
  • 10. Hideki Matsuyama: T-35 after a 1-under 70
  • 11. Charl Schwartzel: T-19 after a 2-under 69
  • 14. Graham DeLaet: T-35 after a 1-under 70
  • 15. Jim Furyk: T-13 after a 3-under 68
  • 16. Bubba Watson: T-35 after a 1-under 70
  • 17. Hunter Mahan: T-35 after a 1-under 70
  • 18. Lee Westwood: T-19 after a 2-under 69
  • 19. Harris English: T-35 after a 1-under 70
  • 20. Jordan Spieth: T-86 after a 1-over 72

• • •

Update No. 36: 8:42 p.m. EST

Co-leader J.B. Holmes pars the 14th and 15th to remain 5 under alongside Dustin Johnson. A bogey at the par-3 16th, however, drops him back to 4 under and into a T-2 group that includes 10 others as things stand. Holmes, who played collegiately at Kentucky, seeks his first win since the 2008 FBR Open and is the only player on the course within two shots of the lead.

Another shot back is Jim Furyk, who during a 3-under 68 holed out for birdie at No. 2 (mobile readers can see the video here).

• • •

Update No. 35: 8:29 p.m. EST

Some trouble is out there to be found, indeed. Nicholas Colsaerts triple bogeys the seventh and slips back to even par with two to play. Aaron Baddeley double bogeys the fifth and follows that with a bogey-birdie sequence to stand 1 under with two to play.

Rickie Fowler, sporting a new haircut, finishes with a 3-under 68 thanks in part to a chip-in birdie at No. 15 to get things started (mobile readers can see the video here).

• • •

Update No. 34: 8:02 p.m. EST

Chalk up another 67 – this one the only one by a three-time winner on PGA Tour this season in Jimmy Walker. He birdies the 18th to close his round with three straight birdies. Hot hand, anyone?

Another player finishing up is Jordan Spieth, who made the turn at 3 under thanks in part to holing out for eagle from the fairway (mobile readers can see the video here), but whose round fell apart on the back nine en route to a 1-over 72.

"Just my driver; hit No. 2 with my driver and then missed eight straight fairways with the driver. Even though there's not much rough around here, it's a lot easier coming into these firm greens from the fairways," he told Golf Channel. "All in all I can make some birdies on the back nine, and I'm not too worried about it. I just need to straighten it out in the morning."

• • •

Update No. 33: 7:55 p.m. EST

J.B. Holmes is the latest afternoon player to catch Dustin Johnson, a birdie at No. 13 being Holmes' third in four holes to lift him to 5 under.

Webb Simpson finishes a back-and-forth day with birdie-par to get to 1 under. Simpson's highlight of the day was an eagle at the 11th thanks to holing out a bunker shot (mobile readers can see the video here).

• • •

Update No. 32: 7:43 p.m. EST

Two straight birdies at Nos. 11-12 have pulled J.B. Holmes within a shot of Dustin Johnson's lead, one of four players on the course at 4 under. He follows with a par to remain T-2 with Sang-Moon Bae, Keegan Bradley and Charlie Beljan, as well as seven players who shot 67 – including Blake Adams and Charley Hoffman this afternoon.

Fans in the Los Angeles area, meanwhile, will need to find their way to Riviera despite severely limited use of a main metro artery, Interstate 405. The potential for heavy-duty traffic trouble already has been nicknamed "Jamzilla" – and a tournament official says the staff wasn't contacted by state transportation officials.

• • •

Update No. 31: 7:29 p.m. EST

Jimmy Walker gets back to 2 under, a tight approach shot at the par-4 15th yielding birdie.

Also needing a birdie to bounce back a bit is Jordan Spieth, a good tee shot at the par-3 16th giving him a short birdie putt – but he misses and settles for par. Spieth made three straight bogeys at the 11th through 13th, which dropped him to even par for the day.

• • •

Update No. 30: 7:07 p.m. EST

Again, a challenger to Dustin Johnson ties him and falls back, as Charlie Beljan's first bogey of the day comes at No. 2 and drops him a bit to 4 under. With five players having carded a 67, that leaves Beljan, Keegan Bradley and Nicolas Colsaerts trying to close Johnson's one-shot margin. Brian Harman birdies the par-5 No. 17 hole to join the T-2 group as well.

A couple of new contenders have moved up to 3 under, meanwhile. J.B. Holmes birdies No. 10 to pull within two shots of the lead, while Aaron Baddeley's third birdie in four holes comes at No. 1.

• • •

Update No. 29: 6:55 p.m. EST

Keegan Bradley pulls within a shot of the lead, a birdie at No. 14 his fifth of the day against a bogey. he's 4 under, T-2 with eight others.

Where's Walker? Fair question to ask; three-time winner Jimmy Walker is 1 under through 13 after three birdies scattered among his first 10 holes, then back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 12-13.

It might lack the drama of Bob Tway's shot to defeat Greg Norman at the 1986 PGA Championship, but Martin Laird nonetheless impresses with a long bunker shot that finds the hole at No. 16 for birdie (mobile readers can see the video here). Laird then eagled No. 17 and is even since, 1 under through 11 holes.

• • •

Update No. 28: 6:44 p.m. EST

Charlie Beljan moves into a share of the lead with a birdie at No. 1 that gets him back to 5 under alongside Dustin Johnson.

Nicolas Colsaerts climbs to 4 under, also birdieing No. 1. The big hitter from Brussels, Belgium, finished T-19 at last month's Farmers Insurance Open.

• • •

Update No. 27: 6:27 p.m. EST

The lead again belongs to Dustin Johnson as Blake Adams bogeys No. 5 and slips back to 4 under. Brian Harman, meanwhile, bounces back with a birdie at No. 14 to climb back to 4 under as well. Adams and Harman are among nine players tied for second.

• • •

Update No. 26: 6:06 p.m. EST

With three birdies in four holes since making the turn, Blake Adams climbs to 5 under and ties Dustin Johnson for a share of the lead. Adams has made four cuts in six starts this season, seeking his first win on Tour.

Back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 12-13 drop Brian Harman from a share of the lead to 3 under.

• • •

Update No. 25: 5:44 p.m. EST

Co-leader Dustin Johnson's game is coming together in a timely fashion to fare well at a tough course that he likes, to hear him tell it.

"The greens are pretty firm, so it's tough to get it really close to the hole," he told Golf Channel. "It's a tough course, not-too-many under wins. . . . Coming off a great week last week, the game pretty solid right now. I'm pretty comfortable over the ball.

Rickie Fowler makes the turn at 2 under thanks to back-to-back birdies earlier, the first thanks to a chip-in at No. 15.

• • •

Update No. 24: 5:32 p.m. EST

Brian Harman ties for the lead, catching Dustin Johnson with a birdie at No. 11 to move to 5 under. Harman is chasing his first PGA Tour victory.

Charlie Beljan birdies three straight at Nos. 13-15 to move to 4 under through six holes. Beljan, who played collegiately at New Mexico, finished T-9 at last month's Humana Challenge and is looking for his first win since the 2012 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.

Jordan Spieth makes the turn at 3 under, thanks in large part to holing out a shot for eagle earlier.

• • •

Update No. 23: 5:21 p.m. EST

Brian Harman and Trevor Immelman are the low men on the course at 4 under, thanks to a birdie at No. 10 for Harman and an eagle at No. 11 for Immelman. They're one shot back of leader Dustin Johnson, T-2 alongside five players who shot 67 this morning.

• • •

Update No. 22: 5:12 p.m. EST

Twelve of the top 20 players in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings are teeing it up at Riviera this week. Here's a look at how they're faring so far today:

  • 5. Matt Kuchar: T-123 after a 3-over 74
  • 7. Justin Rose: T-29 after a 1-under 70
  • 8. Webb Simpson: T-96, 1 over through eight holes
  • 10. Hideki Matsuyama: T-29 after a 1-under 70
  • 11. Charl Schwartzel: T-14 aftera 2-under 69
  • 14. Graham DeLaet: T-29 after a 1-under 70
  • 15. Jim Furyk: T-7 after a 3-under 68
  • 16. Bubba Watson: T-115, 2 over through seven holes
  • 17. Hunter Mahan: T-29 after a 1-under 70
  • 18. Lee Westwood: T-14 aftera 2-under 69
  • 19. Harris English: T-29 after a 1-under 70
  • 20. Jordan Spieth: T-9, 3 under through eight holes

• • •

Update No. 21: 5:05 p.m. EST

Back-to-back birdies at Nos. 6-7 lift Keegan Bradley to the growing afternoon group at 3 under. Bradley missed the cut at the Phoenix Open, but otherwise hasn't finished worse than T-18.

• • •

Update No. 20: 4:51 p.m. EST

Leave it to Spieth: Young Texan Jordan Spieth cards his first birdie of the day at No. 5, then springboards himself to 3 under with an eagle at the par-4 No. 7 hole. As senior writer Adam Schupak put it:

• @GolfweekSchupak: "And the crowd goes wild: @JordanSpieth holes his 2nd shot for eagle from 125 yards at the 7th hole @NTrustOpen Vaults to -3"

Spieth is among four afternoon players at 3 under, along with Sang-Moon Bae and Brian Harman. They're two back of leader Dustin Johnson.

• • •

Update No. 19: 4:36 p.m. EST

Sang-Moon Bae gets to 3 under through four holes with three straight birdies at Nos. 11-13. Bae, a South Korean who won the HP Byron Nelson Championship in May, is T-7 with three others on that mark – including afternoon player Brian Harman as well as Jim Furyk and Cameron Tringale who carded 68s in the morning.

• • •

Update No. 18: 4:24 p.m. EST

Jason Gore opens with an eagle at the par-5 first hole, jumping immediately to 2 under to start his week. Gore got a bit of a pep talk this week from NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley. Sure seems to be working.

Another back-to-back birdie of note: Angel Cabrera starts his round with birdies at Nos. 10-11 to get to 2 under. El Pato has missed the cut in all three starts during this wraparound season, most recently at the Phoenix Open.

• • •

Update No. 17: 4:07 p.m. EST

Charley Hoffman birdies two in a row for the second time today to rise to 4 under with one to play. Hoffman, a UNLV product, has three top-10 finishes this season; he closes with a par at No. 18 for a 67. Australian Matt Jones, meanwhile, birdies three straight to also rise to 4 under – one back of leader Dustin Johnson.

• • •

Update No. 16: 3:52 p.m. EST

Brian Harman starts his afternoon round with three straight birdies to quickly climb into contention, two shots back of leader Dustin Johnson. Harman, who played collegiately at Georgia, has two top-10 finishes this season.

And don't look now, but Jason Dufner starts his round with back-to-back birdies.

• • •

Update No. 15: 3:39 p.m. EST

Scott Stallings joins Robert Garrigus and Francesco Molinari in the clubhouse with a 67, one back of leader Dustin Johnson. Six more players are another shot back, including Harold Varner III after a bogey at No. 5.

• • •

Update No. 14: 3:17 p.m. EST

Jim Furyk bogeys No. 8 and pars his last hole to finish a 68 that has him two back of the lead as he heads in. Furyk, an Arizona product, is looking for his first PGA Tour win since the 2010 Tour Championship.

The low man on the course is Harold Varner III, who pars the par-3 fourth hole to remain 4 under with five to play.

• • •

Update No. 13: 3:03 p.m. EST

Leader Dustin Johnson closes his round with a par at No. 9 for a 66 to lead at 5 under as he heads in. One shot back are Robert Garrigus and Francesco Molinari, each with a 67, as well as David Hearn, Scott Stallings and Harold Varner III.

At No. 3, Varner III cards his fourth birdie in seven holes. The East Carolina product learned during his collegiate career just how helpful a short memory can be.

• • •

Update No. 12: 2:52 p.m. EST

Dustin Johnson's first birdie since making the turn lifts him to the outright lead again at 5 under; he's a shot ahead of four others with one to play.

We mentioned Scott Verplank's WD earlier with back pain; here's senior writer Adam Schupak's blog on the early end to Verplank's day, which included a "snowman" quadruple bogey to start the round.

• • •

Update No. 11: 2:43 p.m. EST

Scott Stallings birdies four straight after making the turn and moves to 4 under, growing the lead pack to six players along with Jim Furyk, Robert Garrigus, Dustin Johnson, Francesco Molinari and Cameron Tringale. David Hearn and Harold Varner III are a shot back, with eight more players at 2 under.

• • •

Update No. 10: 2:26 p.m. EST

Cameron Tringale bogeys No. 2, dropping him to 4 under and into a five-way tie for the lead that also includes Jim Furyk, Robert Garrigus, Dustin Johnson and Francesco Molinari.

Harold Varner III scatters three birdies against a bogey on his first nine, then birdies No. 1 to move to 3 under. Varner took to the range this week to give Google Glass a shot (mobile readers can see the video right here).

• • •

Update No. 9: 2:15 p.m. EST

With a birdie at No. 1 following his eagle-birdie sequence to close out Riviera's back nine, Cameron Tringale moves to the lead at 5 under. He's a shot ahead of JIm Furyk, Dustin Johnson and Francesco Molinari. Tringale is looking for his first PGA Tour win.

Our Adam Schupak caught up with Jordan Spieth's caddie, who recalled the phenom's trip to Riviera two years ago as an amateur.

• • •

Update No. 8: 1:50 p.m. EST

A bogey at the par-3 fourth hole, his first of the day, drops Dustin Johnson to a tie for the lead at 4 under with Jim Furyk and Cameron Tringale – the latter finishing his first nine of the week with an eagle and birdie at Nos. 17-18. Tringale, a Georgia Tech product, finished T-12 at the Phoenix Open and has made seven cuts in 10 starts this season.

• • •

Update No. 7: 1:37 p.m. EST

Jim Furyk and Robert Garrigus pull within a shot of leader Dustin Johnson, thanks to birdies at No. 3 and 15, respectively – for Furyk, his third straight since making the turn and fourth in five holes.

After he opened with a quadruple-bogey 8, Scott Verplank has withdrawn with a back injury. Said our Alex Miceli in a tweet:

@alexmiceli: "Scott Verplank WD in LA with a bad back. Started with an 8 on the short 10th hole, 2 doubles, 2 bogeys in 8 holes, total +10. Poor Caddie."

• • •

Update No. 6: 1:12 p.m. EST

Make it three straight birdies for leader Dustin Johnson, who moves to 5 under with a four at the par-5 No. 1 hole. Johnson, a Coastal Carolina product, has yet to finish worse than T-6 in three starts this season – and won the WGC-HSBC Champions in November.

He's two shots clear of a foursome at T-2: Robert Garrigus, Aaron Goldberg, Troy Matteson and Charl Schwartzel. Fifteen players are another shot back, T-6 at 2 under.

• • •

Update No. 5: 1:01 p.m. EST

Troy Matteson moves to T-2 at 3 under with a birdie at No. 11. The Georgia Tech product finished T-5 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, one of two made cuts this season in eight starts. He's alongside Robert Garrigus, one shot back of leader Dustin Johnson.

• • •

Update No. 4: 12:48 p.m. EST

Again moving to the outright lead, Dustin Johnson birdies for his second straight hole at No. 18 before making the turn and moving to 4 under.

Word comes from Colombia that Jesper Parnevik, a five-time PGA Tour winner making his Web.com Tour debut this week, has withdrawn earlier today after nine holes with back problems.

• • •

Update No. 3: 12:31 p.m. EST

Dustin Johnson gets to 3 under with a birdie at No. 17; he's bogey free through eight holes. Robert Garrigus quickly catches him with a birdie at No. 11 – his fourth straight.

There are 14 players at 2 under, as Cal product Max Homa joins the bunch thanks to birdies at Nos. 1 and 3. Homa has made the cuts in two of three starts this season, finishing T-9 at the Frys.com Open that opened the wraparound schedule.

• • •

Update No. 2: 12:22 p.m. EST

How will many of the Tour's best handle Riviera CC? Club pro Todd Yoshitake takes a look at negotiating the 10th hole, which he says Jack Nicklaus called "the greatest short par 4 in America." (Mobile readers can see the video here).

• • •

Update No. 1: 12:15 p.m. EST

Where to begin? Fifteen players are tied at 2 under in the early going at Riviera. Season winners on that mark include Harris English, Dustin Johnson and Kevin Stadler.

• • •

Pre-tournament coverage

• Chat with Charles Barkley reenergizes J. Gore

Jason Gore is in the field at the Northern Trust Open and happy to be here after a lot of jumping back and forth between the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour with no real home – amid a desire to be at home with his family. Enter Charles Barkley, a longtime, fierce competitor in the NBA.

Expert picks: Eyes on G. DeLaet, D. Johnson at Riviera

Naturally three-time 2013-14 PGA Tour winner Jimmy Walker is getting plenty of talk amid picks for this week's Northern Trust Open, while Canada's Graham DeLaet is a popular choice to break through with his first career win. Riviera also has notable names such as Dustin Johnson, Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan in the mix, not to mention Joost Luiten, Pat Perez and Jordan Spieth.

Some Tour events keep public from practice rounds

Will fans be part of Tuesday practice rounds on the PGA Tour in the future? At the recent Farmers Insurance Open and this week's Northern Trust Open, spectators have been banned from the grounds on Tuesdays. The move is an outgrowth of the revised security policies issued late last year by the Tour.

J. Rose returns to action at Riviera

Reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose had been sidelined for the past two months with what Rose described as a basic tendinitis of the right supraspinatus (shoulder). “I played pretty much from October last year with it not perfect,” Rose said.

• • •

PGA Tour news

Boosted by self-belief, J. Renner clears big hurdle

Numbers tell a story. On the one hand, in 77 tournaments combined on the PGA and Web.com tours across three-plus seasons, Jim Renner had earned $661,111. On the other hand, in one tournament last week, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Renner earned $580,800.

Notes: R. Garrigus' unique bag; Web.com Tour's start; more

Clearly a Blackhawks fan, even though he grew up in Oregon, Robert Garrigus said he wanted to have both Patrick Kane and Chicago’s other electrifying scorer, Jonathan Toews, on the bag, but the team said just one.

D. Hart, recovering from injury, sees new faces all around

Much has changed on the PGA Tour landscape since Dudley Hart was last out on a weekly basis. For instance, the younger faces who filled the player-dining tent at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. “Honestly, I didn’t know two-thirds of them,” said Hart, 45, with a laugh.

S. Appleby maintains fire, top form 'within arm's reach'

Maintaining his passion at 42 and with a few pedestrian years behind him, Stuart Appleby insists he’s as fired up as ever about the game. "I want to play. It’s easy just to play golf, but to play golf on the PGA Tour is a whole other thing.” The most recent of his nine PGA Tour wins came in 2010, but he insists he has the desire to continue working hard.

Miceli: Self-analysis pushes J. Walker to wins on Tour

Now that Jimmy Walker has entered the elite company of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and David Duval as one of only four players since 1995 to win three times in eight starts, it seems only appropriate to see what Walker can accomplish next. Each win for Walker came in a different way.

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