Thursday, June 21, 2018
Sports

Dustin Johnson, Jimmie Walker tied for lead at PGA's Northern Trust Open

LOS ANGELES — Dustin Johnson moved down the coast of California and brought his game with him Thursday in the Northern Trust Open.

So did Jimmy Walker.

Johnson made six birdies on a warm, sunny day at Riviera for 5-under 66, giving him a one-shot lead when the opening round was suspended by darkness. Walker birdied his last three holes and was in the large group at 67 that included Francesco Molinari of Italy and Torrey Pines winner Scott Stallings.

Four days ago, Johnson closed with 66 in the gray, cold weather of Pebble Beach to finish one shot behind Walker. In conditions that could not have been any different — and could not have been any better — he made birdie on all of the par 5s and only had one bogey, at the long par-3 fourth.

"It was cold, windy and wet at Pebble on Sunday. Here, it's not a lot of wind and perfect conditions. It's sunny and a really nice temperatures," Johnson said. "It's still golf, though. You've still got to adjust, no matter what you're doing."

That was no trouble for Walker, whose victory at Pebble Beach was his third of the season. He drove his RV down from the Monterey Peninsula, got up at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday to appear on the Golf Channel, then went right back to work.

"It's four more days of golf," he said. "You can ride the momentum of really good play. But everyone started at even and you just have to be like, 'Let's go get it again.' ''

Robert Garrigus, Charley Hoffman and Matt Jones had 67. Jim Furyk was at 68 and Bubba Watson finished at 70. Fred Couples, 54, making his 32nd appearance in the tournament, shot 72. Scott Verplank withdrew with a bad back.

LPGA: Suzann Pettersen birdied her last three holes for 6-under 66 to lead the Women's Australian Open by a shot after the first round in Melbourne. The second-ranked Norwegian could take the world's No. 1 spot from Inbee Park with a victory or a solo second-place finish. Pettersen held off four players at 67, including Americans Jaclyn Sweeney and Jessica Korda at 67. Paula Creamer was at 68, Seminole's Brittany Lincicome 71, Tampa resident Kristy McPherson 74 and Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse 80.

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