Sports

Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh quietly climb into Northern Trust Open lead

Live updates from the Northern Trust Open

It might have seemed like Retief Goosen and Vijay Singh inspired each other during the first round at the Northern Trust Open on Thursday.

But after the veterans played in the same group at Riviera Country Club -- and shot matching rounds of five-under-par 66 -- Goosen said they pretty much kept quiet and left each other alone all day.

“We had a little chat out there a little bit,” he explained. “But yeah, sometimes when you get a good round going, you are both so focused on your round that you don’t really chat as much.”

Three times on Thursday, Goosen and Singh birdied the same hole. That helped them finish among the leaders, but Singh wasn’t ready to predict a nostalgic finish on Sunday.

“Well,” he said, “you’re not going to win it on Thursday.”

Current leaderboard

T1 Retief Goosen -5 F

T1 Vijay Singh  -5 F

T1 Nick Watney -5 F

T1 James Hahn -5 F

T1 Daniel Summerhays -5 F

T6  Carlos Ortiz -4 F

T6 Matt Jones -4 through 12

T6 Derek Fathauer -4 through 10

T9 Justin Thomas -3 F

T9 Alex Cejka  -3 F

T9 Geoff Ogilvy -3 F

T9 William McGirt -3 F

2:40 p.m.: The No. 10 hole at Riviera Country Club has been a frequent topic of discussion among players on Thursday at the Northern Trust Open.

One of the classic short par-fours in the game, it has bunkers strewn across the fairway and a narrow, angled green.

“You stand on the tee and you say, there’s really no good options here, and I’m just going to hit it and take whatever happens,” said Daniel Summerhays, who managed a par on the way to a five-under-par 66 for the first round.

Geoff Ogilvy also made par and finished the day near the top of the leaderboard at three under.

“It’s hard to criticize such a good hole,” Ogilvy said, but added, “It’s a lot harder than it used to be, especially when the pins are at the back like today.”

Current leaderboard

T1 Retief Goosen -5 F

T1 Vijay Singh  -5 F

T1 Nick Watney -5 F

T1 James Hahn -5 F

T1 Daniel Summerhays -5 F

6  Carlos Ortiz -4 F

T7 Justin Thomas -3 F

T7 Alex Cejka  -3 F

T7 Geoff Ogilvy -3 F

T7 William McGirt -3 through 10

T7 Vaughn Taylor -3 F

1:37 p.m.: Tramping around in the woods beside the No. 5 fairway, Bubba Watson had several options, none of them good.

The defending champion at the Northern Trust Open briefly considered hitting backward toward the fairway. He looked at punching it out sideways.

Finally, Watson hacked the ball 20 or so yards forward to the rough, setting up a bogey that dropped him to even par at Riviera Country Club on Thursday.

The afternoon groups had plenty of sunshine but also a cool, stiff breeze that did not make the difficult course any easier.

Current leaderboard

1. Retief Goosen, -5 F

1. Vijay Singh, -5 F

1. Nick Watney, -5 F

1. James Hahn, -5 F

1. Daniel Summerhays, -5 F

6. Carlos Ortiz, -4 F

7. Justin Thomas, -3 F

7. Alex Cejka, -3 F

7. Geoff Ogilvy, -3 F

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12:07 p.m.: It’s midday at the Northern Trust Open, but it might as well be 10 years ago.

Two names atop the leaderboard at noon -- Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen -- are players who have seen their best days on the PGA Tour come and go. Yet both shot 66 for the first round at Riviera Country Club to share the lead with Daniel Summerhays at 5-under.

Singh had 31 wins on the Tour from 1997 through 2008. Goosen won six events from 2001-2005.

Several of the top players in the field, including defending champion Bubba Watson and Brandt Snedeker, who won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last week, were scheduled to tee off in the afternoon.

Current leaderboard

1. Retief Goosen, -5 thru 17

1. Vijay Singh, -5 thru 17

1. Daniel Summerhays, -5 thru 12

4. Nick Watney, -4 thru 15

5. Justin Thomas, -3 F

5. Alex Cejka, -3 F

5. Sang-Moon Bae, -3 thru 16

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11:20 a.m.: After a red-hot start through nine holes, Nick Watney's charge through the first round of the Northern Trust Open slowed around the turn.

The early leader needed a clutch putt to save par on No. 10, then found the rough on the 12th fairway and bogeyed the long par 4.

Watney's run was fueled by a 20-yard hole-out on No. 7.

Sunshine finally broke through the gloom and a breeze picked up as the later groups began play at Riviera Country Club.

Current leaderboard

1. Nick Watney, -4 thru 12

1. Daniel Summerhays, -4 thru 9

3. Retief Goosen, -3 thru 12

3. Vijay Singh, -3 thru 13

3. Geoff Ogilvy, -3 thru 12

3. James Hahn, -3 thru 10

3. Carlos Ortiz, -3 thru 11

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10:04 a.m.: They might not be tearing it up on the course, but Sergio Garcia, Jordan Spieth and Fred Couples are clearly crowd favorites at the Northern Trust Open.

A large gallery followed the early group through the back nine at Riviera Country Club on Thursday.

Even a close miss on a birdie putt by Spieth was enough to elicit a roar on the 18th green, shattering the morning silence.

Garcia and Couples were among the players tied for 20th at even par. Spieth was tied for 51st at two-over-par. All three had played nine holes.

Meanwhile, Nick Watson holed out from 20 yards on No. 7 to reach 4-under.

Current leaderboard

1. Nick Watney, -5 thru 8

2. Retief Goosen, -4 thru 10

3. Justin Thomas, -2 thru 11

3. Vijay Singh, -2 thru 10

3. K.J. Choi, -2 thru 9

3. Geoff Ogilvy, -2 thru 8

3. Brendon Todd, -2 thru 8

3. Sang-Moon Bae, -2 thru 8

3. J.B. Holmes, -2 thru 8

3. Daniel Summerhays, -2 thru 5

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9:20 a.m.: The ninth hole at Riviera Country Club has been tough on pretty much everyone coming through during early first-round play at the Northern Trust Open.

But Pat Perez found a way to make par with a clutch up-and-down to remain at 3-under and hold a spot at the top of the leaderboard on Thursday morning. Play at Riviera began under gloomy skies and only a slight breeze.

Perez and co-leader Retief Goosen were among the first groups out.

Current leaderboard

1. Pat Perez, -3 through 8

1. Retief Goosen, -3 through 7

3. Justin Thomas, -2 through 9

3. Geoff Ogilvy, -2 through 6

3. Brendon Todd, -2 through 6

3. Nick Watney, -2 through 5

3. Sang-Moon Bae, -2 through 5

8. (13 tied at -1)

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