Two New Leaders in Northern Trust Open


South Korea's Sang-Moon Bae and Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson each shot 6-under 65s to tie for the 36-hole lead at 9-under 133 in the Northern Trust Open. The $6.6 million PGA Tour event began Thursday at famed Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Teeing off in the morning, the 26-year-old Bae carded nine birdies and three bogeys, while in the afternoon Jacobson had seven birdies and a bogey. Jacobson could have gotten the outright lead, reaching 9-under through 15 holes, but the 38-year-old could only muster pars on the last three holes.

Tied for third at 134 are John Merrick (66) and John Rollin (65). Another stroke back is Luke Donald (66). The former No. 1-ranked player in the world said he's been helped mentally by basketball great Michael Jordan, who occasionally plays with him at The Bear's Club in West Palm Beach, Fla.

"He's good for the mind," Donald told the UK's Telegraph newspaper. "He's been making sure that I'm ready mentally. It's been good to pick Michael's brains and find out what he was thinking about when he was playing basketball. He's always trying to play mind games. He doesn't like to lose."

Three other big names - South Africa's Charl Schwartzel (67), England's Lee Westwood (68) and 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson (66) - are tied for sixth at 136.

Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters winner, is making his 2013 PGA Tour debut after performing well the past few months. The 28-year-old won December's Thailand Golf Championship by a whopping 11 strokes over Bubba Watson.

"I'm very happy," Schwarzel told PGATour.com about his first two rounds at Riviera. "At least I put myself in position for the weekend. There's still 36 holes to go and if I keep playing like I am, who knows."

Defending champion Bill Haas shot a 67 is at 5-under 137. Also at that number are first-round leader Matt Kuchar, who shot a 73 after starting with a 64, Ryan Moore (67) and John Mallinger (66).

Following a promising 68 in the first round, Fred Couples carded a 1-over 72 Friday. The two-time winner at Riviera stands at 2-under 140, well under the cut line of 1-over 143 at the par-71 course.

Among those not qualifying for the weekend are Graeme McDowell, who posted rounds of 73 and 72. Canada's Mike Weir is also heading home after shooting a 75 and 72.

Watson, the reigning Masters' champion, followed up his opening 6-over 77 with a 71, but also missed the cut. Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington couldn't recover from his 77 Thursday.

Chris Stroud, Carl Pettersson and Cameron Beckman withdrew before the start of the second round.

For updated scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.


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