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Golf roundup

Scores high at Riviera

Allenby among nine tied for lead

Dustin Johnson opened with a 73 after nearly missing his tee time. Dustin Johnson opened with a 73 after nearly missing his tee time. (Reed Saxon/Associated Press)
Associated Press / February 18, 2011

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Ten years after Robert Allenby won a six-man playoff at Riviera, he was part of a nine-way tie for the lead yesterday in the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles.

Allenby kept it simple on a gorgeous day along Sunset Boulevard with a 4-under-par 67 that turned out to be enough for a share of the lead when former Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin faltered late.

It was the highest score to lead after one round at Riviera in 15 years.

Also atop the leaderboard when play was suspended by darkness were John Senden, Martin Laird, Spencer Levin, Aaron Baddeley, Ben Martin, Bill Haas, Carl Pettersson, and J.B. Holmes.

A few players managed to stand out.

Dustin Johnson’s caddie thought his tee time was 40 minutes later than it really was, so Johnson was on the practice range in the middle of his warm-up routine when he was supposed to be high on the hill on the first tee. Johnson was penalized two shots, and nearly was disqualified. Players have five minutes to get to the tee, and Johnson got there with six seconds to spare. He wound up with a 73.

Then came the retro movement of Pavin and Fred Couples, who combined to win this tournament four times during a six-year stretch in the early 1990s. Couples, whose back is in such bad shape that he’s going for treatment next week, made three straight birdies at the turn and shot a 68.

Pavin was the only player to reach 5 under, and it would have been an amazing story if he didn’t have to play the last six holes. But he made three bogeys in the twilight, including his last two holes, and had to settle for a 69.

LPGA — South Korea’s In-Kyung Kim tied the course record at the Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course, carding a 9-under 63 in the first round of the season-opening LPGA Thailand.

Kim, ranked No. 7, started with a birdie and went on to pick up nine more. Top-ranked Yani Tseng and Juli Inkster each shot 66 and were three shots behind Kim.

PGA European — Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen shot a 6-under 66 to take the lead in the suspended first round of the Avantha Masters in New Delhi. None of the 66 players who teed off in the afternoon finished their round because of darkness.

Ladies European — Giulia Sergas of Italy shot an 8-under 64 to take a three-stroke lead after the first round of the New Zealand Women’s Open in Christchurch.

Tiger Woods reported on his website he’s committed to play in next week’s World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana, Ariz. Woods is a three-time winner of the event.