Couples clear at Riviera

2011-02-19 20:35

California - PGA Tour veteran Fred Couples remained two strokes clear at the Northern Trust Open when the delayed second round was completed at Riviera Country Club on Saturday morning.

Twenty-six golfers were still out on the course when play was suspended in fading light on Friday and American Spencer Levin was the best placed of those at six under overall.

However, Levin parred his final three holes on Saturday for a two-under-par 69 to remain two shots behind the pacesetting Couples.

Level with Levin in a four-way tie for second were big-hitting American JB Holmes and Australians John Senden and Aaron Baddeley who all carded 69s too.

Holmes and Senden completed their rounds on Friday while Baddeley rolled in a 14-foot birdie putt at the par-four last on Saturday to join them at six under.

Former U.S. Masters champion Trevor Immelman of South Africa (67) and 2001 winner Robert Allenby of Australia (70) were among a group of five knotted at five under.

American Couples, a 51-year-old with a creaking back who triumphed at Riviera in 1990 and 1992, finished his round the previous day.

The former world number one sank a 100-foot eagle putt at the par-five first on the way to a flawless 66 and an eight-under total of 134 at one of his favourite venues.

"I feel like I can play this course blindfolded," Couples told reporters after finishing his round in cool, overcast conditions before a late afternoon thunderstorm swept across the course.

"It doesn't mean I'm going to shoot a good round but I've played here 29 years ... I've got 150 rounds on this thing, so it's an advantage for me. I did play well and my back feels pretty good."

Couples, who has struggled with back pain for 20 years, is bidding for his 16th PGA Tour title but his first since the 2003 Houston Open.

The cut fell at three-over 145 with world number nine Luke Donald of Britain and American DA Points, winner of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday, among those who failed to advance.


Couples (U.S.) 68 66 136 J.B. Holmes (U.S.) 67 69

John Senden (Australia) 67 69

Spencer Levin (U.S.) 67 69

Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 67 69 137 Ryan Moore (U.S.) 69 68

Kevin Na (U.S.) 71 66

Stewart Cink (U.S.) 70 67

Trevor Immelman (South Africa) 70 67

Robert Allenby (Australia) 67 70 138 Paul Casey (Britain) 71 67

Justin Rose (Britain) 69 69

Vijay Singh (Fiji) 68 70 139 K.J. Choi (South Korea) 70 69

Jimmy Walker (U.S.) 68 71

Scott Piercy (U.S.) 73 66

Padraig Harrington (Ireland) 68 71

Cameron Tringale (U.S.) 71 68 140 Retief Goosen (South Africa) 69 71

Corey Pavin (U.S.) 69 71

Hunter Haas (U.S.) 71 69

Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 69 71

Martin Laird (Britain) 67 73 141 Ryan Palmer (U.S.) 70 71

Phil Mickelson (U.S.) 71 70

Robert Karlsson (Sweden) 71 70

Jhonattan Vegas (Venezuela) 71 70

Bill Haas (U.S.) 67 74

Michael Sim (Australia) 70 71

Shaun Micheel (U.S.) 72 69

Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) 71 70

Stuart Appleby (Australia) 69 72

Ben Curtis (U.S.) 71 70

Kevin Stadler (U.S.) 70 71

Michael Putnam (U.S.) 72 69