BSP-02 Golf: Top-ranked Johnson shares Pebble Beach Pro-Am lead

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BSP-02

GOLF-USPGA

Golf: Top-ranked Johnson shares Pebble Beach Pro-Am lead

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 10, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – World number one Dustin Johnson
fired eight birdies in a seven-under par 64 on Friday to grab a share of the
second-round lead alongside rookie Beau Hossler at the Pebble Beach National
Pro-Am.

Johnson, playing on the par-71 Monterey Peninsula course, one of three in
use for the tournament, had just one bogey as he gained ground on overnight
co-leader Hossler.

Hossler, who played the par-72 Spyglass Hill, had five birdies in a five-
under 67 that put him on 12-under as well.

The leading duo were two strokes in front of Julian Suri, who carded a
four-under 67 at Monterey Peninsula to get to 10-under and Troy Merritt, who
shot a five-under 67 at Spyglass Hill.

Five-time major-winner Phil Mickelson, a four-time winner in the
tournament that teams amateurs from the world of big business, sports and
celebrity with the pros, put himself in the mix for the weekend with a bogey-
free 65 at Monterey Peninsula that left him tied for fifth on nine-under par.

“I am having fun,” said the 47-year-old American, who is seeking a 43rd US
PGA Tour title and his first since the 2013 British Open.

He hit nine of 13 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation but said he
expected a tougher challenge when he plays the par-72 Pebble Beach Golf Links
on Saturday.

“I think Pebble’s a little bit tougher because the greens are a little
firmer and smaller,” he said “But if you play well, you can birdie and score
low on all three (courses).”

World number two Jon Rahm of Spain had five birdies without a bogey in his
five-under par 67 at Pebble Beach on Friday. That put him alongside Mickelson
in the group of six players sharing fifth place on nine-under, which also
included former world number one Jason Day who posted a six-under 65 at
Monterey Peninsula.

Northern Ireland star Rory McIlroy, playing the tournament for the first
time, was five-under for the tournament through 13 holes of the second round
when disaster struck at Monterey Peninsula’s driveable par-four fifth — his
14th hole of the day.

He nearly drove the green and putted his eagle attempt to within 10 feet.
But he needed four more putts from there, recording a double-bogey on the
hole. He added two more bogeys on the way to a three-over 74.

He was one-under for the tournament, with work to do on Saturday to make
the 54-hole cut.

BSS/AFP/MRI/ 0837 hrs