Eight share California lead, Harrington second

Scotland’s Martin Laird shot a four under par 67 to hold a share of the lead after the opening round of the Northern Trust Open in California.

Scotland’s Martin Laird shot a four under par 67 to hold a share of the lead after the opening round of the Northern Trust Open in California.

Laird carded six birdies and two bogeys to lie joint first with eight other players at the top of a congested leaderboard at Pacific Palisades.

American quartet Spencer Levin, Ben Martin, Bill Haas and JB Holmes and Australian trio John Senden, Robert Allenby and Aaron Baddeley were also in the clubhouse on four under, along with Sweden’s Carl Pettersson, when play was suspended due to darkness.

American former Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin had looked on track to end the first round on top, but three bogeys in his final four holes dropped him back from five under to two under.

Ireland’s Padraig Harrington and English pair Brian Davis and Luke Donald were in a group of five players in the clubhouse on three under, along with Vijay Singh and Fred Couples.

Donald picked up three birdies in his last five holes to move up the leaderboard.

Peter Tomasulo was also on three under with one hole of his round still to play.

Justin Rose and South Africa’s former US Open champion Retief Goosen were among 10 players on two under.

Phil Mickelson had to settle for a level par 71 featuring four birdies and four bogeys.

“I got off to a good start,” Mickelson, who birdied his first two holes, the 10th and 11th, said on www.pgatour.com.

“I was a couple under, thought it was going to be a great day but gave a lot of shots back, made too many bogeys. Even par. I’ll have a good chance tomorrow morning to get out and try to go low.

“This afternoon it was tough to make some putts. Even though there were some low scores, I struggled getting the ball to go in.”

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