Goose grabs lead with final-hole birdie

Retief Goosen of South Africa sank a 31-foot birdie putt on his last hole to take a one-stroke over Ryan Moore, rookie Justin Thomas and Graham DeLaet of Canada midway through the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

The 46-year-old Goosen, who shared the first-round lead with a 5-under-par 66, bounced back from two bogeys on his first six holes after starting on No. 10, with two birdies in his last five holes to salvage a 70.

“That (closing birdie) was a bit of a bonus,” said Goosen, the two-time U.S. Open champion who has not won on the PGA Tour since the 2009 Transitions Championship. “I got a good read off (Vijay Singh’s) putt, which was on the same line, and it went in.

“It was a little bit of a scramble and I definitely did not hit the ball as well as yesterday, but I got up-and-down for par quite a few times and that kept the round going.”

Moore, who played at UNLV and lives in Las Vegas, could have had a share of the lead but he made his only bogey in a 68 when he missed a five-foot putt for par on the 18th hole.

Thomas, 21, who has three top-10 finishes in his first season on the PGA Tour, holed an eight-foot eagle putt at No. 1 to kick-start his 69 after opening with a 68.

DeLaet, seeking his first PGA Tour victory after winning three times on the Canadian Tour, recorded his only bogey at No. 15 while shooting 67.

Angel Cabrera of Argentina collected seven birdies and four bogeys in a 68 that left him two shots back in solo fifth.

Defending champion Bubba Watson holed a 42-foot eagle putt on the first hole and posted a 69 that put him three strokes behind in a tie for sixth with Justin Spieth (70), J.B. Holmes (69), Paul Casey of England (69) and Derek Fathauer (73).

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