Big hitters Bubba, DJ chasing Kokrak at Riviera

Dustin Johnson current official PGA TOUR headshot (Photo by Caryn Levy/PGA TOUR) ***Local Caption*** Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson current official PGA TOUR headshot (Photo by Caryn Levy/PGA TOUR) ***Local Caption*** Dustin Johnson

Weekend Preview – PGA Tour – Northern Trust PGA TOUROpen – Riviera Country Club– Pacific Palisades, CA–

Long hitters have risen to the top of the leader board through 36 holes at the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open.

Jason Kokrak (10-under) leads the way at Riviera Country Club at Pacific Palisades with a one-shot advantage through two rounds.

The 30-year-old, who was born in Canada but lives in Charlotte, is trying for his breakthrough victory on the PGA Tour. His best effort this season was a T-12 at the Sanderson Farms Championship. His last Top 10 was about a year ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Kokrak, known for his long hitting ability, isn’t the only power hitter near the top – although considerably shorter Chev Reavie is alone in second at 9-under.

Heavy weights at T-3 and 8-under include two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and power guru Dustin Johnson. Watson won this title with a 64-64 weekend in 2014, while DJ has back-to-back runner-up finishes at Riviera.

Look for someone in the group tied for 7th place to make a move on Saturday. 1northerntrustlogoHeadliners in that group include World No. 3 Rory McIlroy, former Masters champions Charl Schwartzel and Adam Scott, and Hideki Matsuyama.

Kokrak will be challenged Saturday to maintain the lead through three rounds. At No. 210 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Kokrak was listed as a “field” betting selection at 3 ½-to-1 odds at

DJ (15-1) and Bubba (20-1) are both in prime position to make a run for the championship.

europeantourlogo15Other Golf news:

  • Soomin Lee (15-under) fired a 7-under-64 to take the 54-hole lead at the Maybank Championship Malaysia – a co-sanctioned event with the European Tour and Asian Tour. Marcus Fraser is two shots behind, while 36-hole leader Nathan Holman is 11-under.
  • World No. 1 Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia were part of the crew that missed the cut at Riviera Country Club.
  • Danielle Kang, Jenny Shin and Harukyo Nomura are tied at 9-under through three rounds at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. Rolex Ranking No. 1LPGAtour logoNEW Lydia Ko and five-time event champion Karrie Webb are lurking just a shot back.
  • Tiger Woods, recovering from injury for most of the last two seasons, will not compete in the Honda Classic near his home next week. Still no target date has been announced for his return to competitive golf.