Sergio Garcia finished his round with a birdie 3 on the ninth hole — even though he said he couldn’t see where his tee shot even landed — to move to within one stroke of leader Matt Kuchar as play winded down tonight at the PGA’s Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club.
Garcia’s 6-under 65 came almost six hours after Kuchar carded a 7-under 64 to assume the first-round lead. Both started their rounds with three birdies — Kuchar on holes No. 1, 2 and 3 in the morning group (7:22 a.m. tee time) while Garcia had his on Nos. 10, 11 and 12 with a noon tee time.
Brandt Jobe, in the first group to start play today,remained third at 5-under 66, while Charlie Beljan rallied to tie him in the late afternoon.
The marine layer came as scheduled to settle over the course with the sun trying to peek through as the day was coming to an end. About a dozen golfers remained on the course when play ended at 5:43 p.m. officially. Among those still on the course was former UCLA standout Patrick Cantlay, who was 2-under after 14 holes playing in the final group.
Garcia said he noticed the weather get colder as he was on the seventh tee, with three holes left to play.
“It musta been my fault,” he said with a laugh. “It was a nice day but I could feel it coming on the fifth hole, when I had to put my jacket back on. I was surprised we were able to keep going because there were a couple of holes where we couldn’t see the pin.”