US Golf: In-form Dustin Johnson holds early lead in Northern Trust Open at Riviera

Last Updated: 15/02/14 8:44am

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Dustin Johnson: Enjoyed the conditions at Riviera

Dustin Johnson: Enjoyed the conditions at Riviera

Sky Bet

Big-hitting American Dustin Johnson has a one-shot lead after the first day of the Northern Trust Open, having opened with a round of 66.

Johnson has begun his 2014 campaign well and took advantage of good scoring conditions at Riviera Country Club to finish the day at five-under-par.

First round leaderboard

(US unless stated)

-5 D Johnson
-4 R Garrigus
-4 F Molinari (Ita)
-4 S Stallings
-4 C Hoffman
-4 M Jones (Aus)
-4 B Harman
-4 B Adams
-4 J Walker
-4 S-M Bae (Kor)
-4 C Beljan
-4 JB Holmes

Click here for collated scores

Four other players reached that score at some point but only Johnson stayed there, and he is on course for another good week after finishing joint-second at Pebble Beach last Sunday.

On a glorious morning of unbroken sunshine, the 29-year-old birdied four of his first nine holes and picked up two more shots after the turn, although he also bogeyed the tricky par-three fourth.

"I just got off to a good start and continued to play really solid all day," said Johnson. "I kept it in play and hit a lot of greens, had a lot of looks at birdie.

"I've been playing pretty good all year, so the game's right where I want it to be.

"Any score under par out here is a pretty solid round. It's a tough course but it's just a golf course that I really like. Right now, it's in perfect condition."

Log-jam for second

No less than 11 players are at four-under, one shot off the lead, and they include J.B. Holmes, who was unable to finish his round due to darkness and has two holes left to play on Friday.

Among those to sign for 67s were Americans Robert Garrigus, Charley Hoffman and Jimmy Walker, who has already won three times this season, Italy's Francesco Molinari and Australian Matt Jones.

U.S. Open champion Justin Rose is starting his campaign here, having recovered from tendinitis in his right shoulder, and made a solid start with a one-under-par round of 70.

Starting at the 10th, Rose birdied his first hole and picked up another shot at the first but also bogeyed eight and had 15 pars otherwise.

His compatriot Lee Westwood is one shot better off after shooting a 69 and the 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel carded the same score.

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