Bae leads at Riviera heading into weekend

Weekend Preview – PGA Tour – Northern Trust Open – Riviera Country Club – Pacific Palisades, California –

Sang-Moon Bae has just one bogey through 36 holes at the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club.

The 27-year-old leads at 9-under overall and tees off at 9:46 a.m. local time in California Saturday alongside Aaron Baddeley and Robert Garrigus. Bae, who has 11 international victories in his career, last won the PGA Tour in 2013 at the Byron Nelson Championship.

Bae is 7th in Strokes Gained Putting through two rounds and 3rd in Total Putts Made Distance. The 10-year-pro has just one Top 25 this season and struggled after his win last year. He missed seven cuts after his win and his best effort was a T-31 in Canada.

Baddeley, who won here in 2011, and Garrigus are both 8-under overall. Baddeley closed out his Friday second round with four straight birdies. Consistently the best putter on the tour, Bads leads the field in Strokes Gained Putting this week.

Watch for headliners Dustin Johnson, the round-one leader after a 66, and former U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk to make a move Saturday. Both are T-5 at 6-under. Furyk is tied for 4th in Fairways In Regulation and 2nd in Proximity to the Hole this week, while DJ leads the field in Greens In Regulation at 80 percent.

Bae finished T-8 here last year thanks to a 68-65 start, but struggled Saturday in round three with a 76. Now, No. 132 in the Official World Golf Rankings, Bae will be challenged to hold his lead heading into Sunday.

Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker are T-14 heading into the weekend.

Other Golf News:

  • Suzann Pettersen trails the lead at the LPGA Tour’s ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open by three shots through 54 holes. With a victory or solo second, she will surpass Inbee Park into the No.1 Rolex Ranking slot.
  • Bernhard Langer shot 8-under-64 in the opening round of the Champions Tour ACE Group Classic in Naples, Florida. He leads Bob Tway by a shot.
  • Matt Kuchar’s run of a PGA Tour best 30 straight cuts made was snapped at Riviera. A rusty Kuchar shot 74-75. Louis Oosthuizen, Rickie Fowler (68-76), Fred Couples and defending champion John Merrick also missed the cut.
  • Turnarounds by Vijay Singh (75-67) and Jason Allred (73-64) helped them earn a weekend tee time. Singh turns 51 years old next week. Allred’s 64 included two bogeys at Riviera.