Kokrak made birdie on all the par 5s at Riviera on his way to a 7-under 64 to build a one-shot lead over Chez Reavie (67) going into the weekend. Kokrak has never won on the PGA Tour, though power can go a long way on this course under these conditions and he has plenty...
LOS ANGELES — Jason Kokrak sensed something special was about to happen, and he could point to his name atop the leaderboard Friday in the Northern Trust Open.
For so many others, Friday was something out of the ordinary.
Jordan Spieth, the world’s No. 1 player, made eight birdies and missed the cut by five shots. Charl Schwartzel made a double bogey and a triple bogey — the latter when a shot hit him in the hand — and still shot 68 to remain in contention. Padraig Harrington realized during the round he was wearing someone else’s right shoe. Brendon de Jonge was penalized four shots because he left a wedge in his bag that was damaged the day before.
Kokrak made birdie on all the par 5s at Riviera on his way to a 7-under 64 to build a one-shot lead over Chez Reavie (67) going into the weekend. Kokrak has never won on the PGA Tour, though power can go a long way on this course under these conditions and he has plenty of it.
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“It’s been a struggle to learn how to play this golf course,” said Kokrak, who has not finished in the top 30 in his four previous tries. “It’s old school. It’s very hard. But it’s right there in front of you.”
He was at 10-under 132.
There was plenty of power at the top of the leaderboard.
Dustin Johnson (66) and Bubba Watson (68) were in the group at 8-under 134. Johnson has been the runner-up at Riviera each of the last two years, while Watson won the Northern Trust Open two years ago with a 64-64 weekend. Rory McIlroy (69) and Adam Scott (68) were four shots behind.
Schwartzel had seven birdies and an eagle, which helped soothe the aggravation of two holes. He caught a plugged lie in a bunker on the treacherous 10th to start his round and made double bogey. He followed with three birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, only to make triple bogey on No. 2 when his tee shot hit a cart path and was next to the out-of-bounds fence. Trying to chip out a few yards, the ball bounced up and hit him in the hand.
As for Harrington?
He shot a 70 in white, classic-style Foot-Joys. They looked the same. They fit the same. But only when he went to clean off the sole and noticed a different set of spikes did Harrington realize the right shoe was different.
• Danielle Kang of the U.S., South Korean Jenny Shinn and Japan’s Haru Nomura share the third-round lead at 9 under in the Women’s Australian Open in Adelaide.
Top-ranked Lydia Ko from New Zealand is one stroke back, along with Australian Karrie Webb.
Former UW Husky SooBin Kim, the first-round leader, is tied for 19th, five strokes behind. Jing Yan, another former Husky, is tied for 40th.
• Australia’s Nathan Holman shot a 6-under 65 at Royal Selangor to take a two-stroke lead at 13 under in the Maybank Championship Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.