Nine players tied at the top of Northern Trust Open

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Nine players tied at the top of Northern Trust Open
The Northern Trust Open teed off yesterday at the picturesque par-71 Riviera Golf and Country Club in California where players played remarkably well to post their names on the leader board. There was a nine way tie for the top spot after the first round
of the event. Robert Allenby of Australia, who has previously won this tournament, was among the leaders.
Allenby was very content with his first round of four-under par 67, which turned out to be enough to lead the tournament with a tie. This was the highest score after 15 years at Riviera Golf Course to lead after the first round of the championship.
Play was suspended late in the evening due to bad light. Players who topped the leader board were Robert Allenby, John Senden, Martin Laird, Spencer Levin, Aaron Baddeley, Ben Martin, Bill Haas, Carl Pettersson and J.B. Holmes.
Peter Tomasulo of the USA could also end up tied with these players if he finishes with a birdie at the closing 18th hole when he resumes his round early Friday morning. PGA Tour officials were surprised to see nine players tied for the lead at
the top. PGA officials confirmed that this was the most number of players tied for first since the tour started in 1970
Another interesting scenario unfolded on the course as Dustin Johnson’s caddie forgot his players’ tee time. Johnson had to face a two-stroke penalty because he was late by five minutes and was almost disqualified. Dustin managed to make it to the tee just
a few seconds to spare before disqualification. He still managed to card a round of two-over par 73.
Fred Couples, who is back in shape, managed to post a round of thee-under par 68. Freddy was comfortable and putted well throughout the day. He made five birdies and two bogeys during his round of 68. Couples will be undergoing further treatment next week.
A lot was expected from world number four, Phil Mickelson, who started his round with two straight birdies on the opening two holes. Problems continued to plague the golfer once he took to the course. Mickelson had four bogeys during his round of 71 and
some of his putts didn’t fall and his iron shots let him down during the day.
Vijay Singh of Fiji will be turning 48 this coming Tuesday and showed class on the course. There were signs that he would make a comeback after he wrapped up his round with a three-under par 68. Singh was paired with the Irishman, Padraig Harrington, who
also finished the day with the same score.
As expected, all the players could not finish on the first day. Fourteen players will be completing their rounds early Friday morning but they could face an uphill battle as weather conditions will not be the same on the second day. Rain is expected for
the next two days. 
Robert Allenby has not won an event on the PGA Tour for the past 10 years. He is hoping that he will continue his good form throughout the championship to lift the winner’s trophy. Allenby was all praise for the golf course and said in his interview that
he has not lost his love for the course.
It seemed that almost everyone was comfortable with the playing conditions on the first day as three Aussies were tied on the leader board. Six players are within one shot from the leaders. Some great shot-making is expected from these players on the second



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