The sun is shining

It’s a beautiful day at Riviera, with the NTO’s final group on the first tee.

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Baddeley, Couples, Na up next

Aaron Baddeley, Fred Couples and Kevin Na are all in contention for the Northern Trust Open title. Baddeley shot a 4-under 67 for a one-shot lead over Couples and Na. Na’s father is battling Leukemia, so a win would be extra special. And he’s never won on the PGA Tour. Baddeley hasn’t won since 2007. Couples is looking to win his third title here. His last was in 1992.

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Jerry West on Fred Couples

Jerry West, executive director of the Northern Trust Open, was happy to see his friend in the lead at the Northern Trust Open. West and Couples attended a Lakers game together recently.
Couples had a two-shot lead after the second round, but now is tied for second with kevin Na and trails Aaron Baddeley by one shot.
“What you see with him is what you get,” West said. “He’s one of the truly nice people. If you took a popularity vote out here of all the players, I bet he’d be close to a unanimous choice. He has such a nice way about him and smile.”

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Here comes the rain

Finally! It started raining here at Riviera Country Club just before 2:30 p.m., but we’ve been expecting it most of the day. Good thing for guys like Fred Couples, who are already in. He’s probably getting his back worked on right now, anyway.

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More drama for Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson is the king of drama. He had to sprint up the hill to Riviera first tee, and made it within six seconds of being DQ’d. He had 6 seconds. Johnson was penalized two shots for not being on tee at his 7:32 a.m. tee time. A player has five minutes to get to the tee after the tee time (although still is assessed a two-stroke penalty). Caddie responsible for not knowing correct time but at some point, Johnson is going to have to become more invovled in his own career. How many more mistakes will it take?

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Putting by firelight…

John Senden, who’s in with a first-round 67, said he was warming up in the dark at Riviera this morning. He was on the putting green at 6:15 a.m. but couldn’t really see. Thank goodness there was a man holding a “torchlight,” he said. And by torchlight, the Aussie means, flashlight.

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