DJ leads with 66 at Riviera

Dustin Johnson posted a 5-under-par 66 to take a one-stroke lead over 11 players after one round to the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

Johnson, who has won eight times on the PGA Tour since turning pro in 2008, started at No. 10 and recorded four of his six birdies on the back nine, carding his only bogey at No. 4. He took advantage of his length, making birdies on all three of the par-5 holes.

“It’s a great golf course and it’s in really good shape right now,” said Johnson, who has finished in the top 10 three times in his six previous appearances at Riviera. “The greens are firm, so it’s tough to get the ball close to the hole. I just played well all day, kept the ball in the fairway and had a lot of looks at birdie.

“I just love this golf course. It’s a tough course, so usually not too many under par is going to win. I don’t know, there’s just something about it that sets up well for me.”

Jimmy Walker, the FedEx Cup points leader who has won three times in eight starts in the 2013-14 season, birdied his last three holes to shoot 67 and climb into the logjam one stroke behind Johnson.

Charlie Beljan, who lost to John Merrick in a playoff at Riviera last year, also shot 67 and was in the tie for second with Robert Garrigus, Francesco Molinari of Italy, Scott Stallings, Charley Hoffman, Matt Jones of Australia, Brian Harman, Blake Adams and Sang-Moon Bae of South Korea.

J.B. Holmes, at 4-under through 16 holes, was one of several players still on the course when play was halted by darkness.

Defending champion Merrick opened with a 72 and was tied for 85th.

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