Rain is falling heavily Friday morning at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades but it hasn't stopped Steve Stricker, who had started the day tied for sixth and three shots behind leader Dustin Johnson, from being five-under par through his first 15 holes in the second round of the Northern Trust Open.
That puts Stricker, the third-ranked golfer in the world who was runner-up to two-time defending champion Phil Mickelson last year, at nine-under for the tournament and in first place so far. Johnson, though, hasn't teed off yet nor has Andres Romero, who had been tied for second at six-under after Thursday's round.
Kevin Stadler, son of Craig Stadler and a former USC star golfer, had also been tied for second going into play Friday but he's two-over after 11 holes so far today.
And Mickelson, who is trying to become the first man to win three consecutive years here? He is working on a round of four-under par so far and is three-under for the tournament, tied for 12th. He's through 14 holes so far.
Mickelson did have a little adventure on the par-four second hole. His shot off the tee landed behind a power box outside of the press tent. He ended up with a bogey five on the hole but there was no hiding from the media because expansive windows allowed close-up views of Mickelson taking a drop and hitting his second shot up and over trees but landing short of the green. He chipped on a two-putted for his five.
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Steve Stricker. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images