Los Angeles • Sang-moon Bae is off to another great start at the Northern Trust Open. The next step is a better finish.
Bae played bogey-free Friday on another gorgeous day at Riviera for a 5-under 66, giving him a one-shot lead over Aaron Baddeley and Robert Garrigus going into the weekend.
Northern Trust Open
Sang-moon Bae -9
Aaron Baddeley -8
Robert Garrigues -8
Charlie Beljan -7
Daniel Summerhays +1
Mike Weir +6
Baddeley, who hasn’t won since Riviera three years ago, birdied his last four holes for a 65. Garrigus played in the afternoon, when it’s a little more difficult to make putts, and managed just fine with a 67.
Bae was at 9-under 133.
The 27-year-old South Korean was tied for the lead going into the weekend at Riviera last year. Bae struggled to a 76 in the third round and never got back into contention.
"It was really, really good experience, and I learned a lot," Bae said. "I improved a lot from last year."
He wound up winning the Byron Nelson Championship a few months later for his first PGA Tour victory.
While Bae is in the lead, the tournament remains wide open, with 22 players separated by only five shots.
Dustin Johnson, who led after the first round and opened with two quick birdies, dropped shots on the 12th and 15th holes to negate a few more birdies. He had to settle for a 70 and was three behind at 6-under 136.
In Naples, Fla., defending champion Bernhard Langer shot an 8-under 64 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the ACE Group Classic.
Langer birdied three of his first holes in his bogey-free round on TwinEagles’ Talon Course. The 56-year-old German won the 2011 tournament and finished second behind Kenny Perry in 2012. Langer won the season-opening event in Hawaii last month for his 19th Champions Tour title.
Bob Tway was second. He birdied his last three holes, making a 60-foot putt on No. 8.
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