LOS ANGELES – A move down the California coast hasn’t changed a thing for Fredrik Jacobson.
One week after his best finish in more than a year, Jacobson birdied the two toughest holes at Riviera on his way to a 6-under 65 on Friday and a share of the lead with Sang-Moon Bae going into the weekend at the Northern Trust Open.
The Swede did just about everything well, from his tee shots to his iron play, just what it takes to get around the classic design of Riviera. And it helps to get a little luck, such as a 55-foot birdie putt from just off the green at No. 9 that bumped along until disappearing for an unlikely birdie.
That was probably the biggest bonus of the day, Jacobson said.
Bae played in the morning and began with four straight birdies, all of them from tap-in range until holing a 25-foot putt on the 13th. He wound up making birdies on half of his holes in his round of 65.
They were at 9-under 133, one shot clear of John Merrick (66) and John Rollins (65).
Still very much in the picture was Luke Donald, who chipped in twice for birdie and worked his short-game magic around the course for a 66. Playing for the first time in two months, Donald didn’t look as if he had much rust. He was two shots behind.
Lee Westwood birdied the last hole for a 68 to join the group at 6-under 136 that includes a pair of major champions, Charl Schwartzel (67) and Webb Simpson (66).
Phil Mickelson was lurking, despite a sloppy double bogey on the 10th hole. Mickelson still managed a 67 and was five shots back.
I had a little hiccup on the 10th, Mickelson said. I was just trying to make 4 and I couldn’t even do that.
It sets up for a wide-open weekend along Sunset Boulevard.
LPGA: In Canberra, Australia, Mariajo Uribe shot a 6-under 67 to overtake South Korea’s Jiyai Shin and overnight leader Lydia Ko, claiming a one-stroke lead in the Women’s Australian Open.
The Colombian is at 15-under 131. Two-time British Open-winner Shin fired eight birdies against two bogeys for a 67, sharing second with 15-year-old amateur Ko, who followed an opening 63 with a 69.
Former Fort Wayne resident Amanda Blumenherst missed the cut at 1-over 157.
CHAMPIONS: In Naples, Fla., Bernhard Langer holed out from the fairway for an eagle on the par-4 10th and finished with a 10-under 62 to take a three-stroke in the ACE Group Classic.
EURPOEAN: In East London, South Africa, Adilson Da Silva opened a three-stroke lead in the Africa Open, completing a 10-under 62 in the wind-delayed first round and shooting a 68 in the second.