Saturday, May 19, 2018

Bae Sang-moon leads PGA tournament at Riviera

LOS ANGELES — Bae Sang-moon is off to another great start at the Northern Trust Open. The next step is a better finish.

Bae played bogey-free Friday at Riviera for 5-under 66, giving him a one-shot lead over Aaron Baddeley and Robert Garrigus going into the weekend.

Baddeley, who hasn't won since Riviera three years ago, birdied his last four holes for 65. Garrigus played in the afternoon, when it was a little more difficult to make putts, and managed just fine with 67.

Bae was at 9-under 133.

The 27-year-old South Korean was tied for the lead going into the weekend at Riviera last year. But Bae struggled to 76 in the third round and never got back into contention.

"It was a really, really good experience, and I learned a lot," he said. "I improved a lot from last year."

He wound up winning the Byron Nelson Championship a few months later for his first PGA Tour victory.

The tournament remains wide open, with 22 players separated by five shots.

One of them is Dustin Johnson, who led after the first round and opened with two quick birdies. He never made any more progress, however. He dropped shots on the 12th and 15th holes to negate a few more birdies, and missed several good looks inside 12 feet. He had to settle for 70 and was three behind at 6-under 136.

Also three shots out of the lead was Jim Furyk, who had 68.

Among those missing the cut was Matt Kuchar, who failed to qualify for the weekend for the first time since the 2012 PGA Championship. His streak of 30 straight cuts was the longest active on the tour, though behind the record 142 by Tiger Woods.

Jordan Spieth birdied four of his last five holes for 66, leaving him in a large group that was at 4-under 138 along with Keegan Bradley and Jimmy Walker, still in the hunt for his fourth win this season.

Champions: Defending champ Bernhard Langer shot 8-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the ACE Group Classic in Naples. After making a slight adjustment in his putting stance, Langer birdied three of his first holes in his bogey-free round. Bob Tway birdied his last three holes to move into second, making a 60-foot putt on No. 8. Olin Browne opened with 66, and Duffy Waldorf and Kirk Triplett shot 67.

LPGA: Sweden's Caroline Hedwall had a hole-in-one and finished with 7-under 65 to take the second-round lead in the Women's Australian Open in Melbourne. She aced the 160-yard par-3 16th, eagled the par-5 eighth after hitting to 4 feet and had five birdies and two bogeys to reach 11-under 133, one shot ahead of second-ranked Suzann Pettersen (68) of Norway. Australian amateur Minjee Lee, 17, was 9 under after shooting 67. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (71) was at 2-under 142. Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (72—152) and Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (79—153) didn't make the cut.