The Northern Trust Open 2012 Scoreboard is led by Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson after 54 holes
Sunday, 19 February 2012
The third-round lead of 7-under-par is the highest 54-lead at The Northern Trust Open event since 1996 when Neal Lancaster led after three rounds in a PGA TOUR tournament won by Craig Stadler.
The 54-hole lead of 7-under-par is the highest score to lead through 54-holes of a PGA TOUR event since last year’s PGA Championship, which Jason Dufner and Brenden Steele led at -7.
Phil Mickelson, 66-70-70=206 (-7)
Phil Mickelson shot a third-round 1-under-par 70 and holds the lead at the Northern Trust Open for the third consecutive day. Mickelson has won 21 of 30 times when holding the third-round lead/co-lead, including three of his last four. Last year, Mickelson won the Shell Houston Open when holding the third-round co-lead, but lost the Farmers Insurance Open after holding the third-round co-lead.
Mickelson has won the last three times he has held the outright lead after 54 holes.
Of Mickelson's 40 wins on TOUR, 15 came when he held the 54-hole lead, eight came when he held a share of the 54-hole lead and 17 came when he trailed going into the final round.
Mickelson is attempting to shoot below par in all four rounds at the Northern Trust Open for the third time in 14 attempts at the event. The two times that Mickelson has broken par in each of the four rounds he finished 2nd (2007) and 1st (2008). It’s Mickelson’s seventh consecutive round of par or better, 14th under-par round of the season (17 rounds) and 11th in his last 12 rounds.
Dating back to the opening round of last week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Mickelson has seven consecutive rounds below par. The last time Mickelson had seven or more consecutive rounds under par was a stretch of 13 rounds in April-May of 2010 which began in the third round of the Shell Houston Open, continued through The Masters and the Wells Fargo Championship and ended at the final round of THE PLAYERS. Mickelson finished those four events T35, 1st, 2nd and T17, respectively.
Mickelson, a winner at last week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, last won consecutive events in consecutive weeks in 2006 at the BellSouth Classic and Masters. He also accomplished the feat in 2005 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and then in 1996 at the Nortel Open and Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Mickelson (2008, 2009) is looking to join Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer as three-time winners of the Northern Trust Open. MacDonald Smith and Lloyd Mangrum each won this event four times.
Thirteen of Mickelson’s 40 career titles have come in California. A win this week would move him ahead of Tiger Woods’ California victory total. A 41st win would keep Mickelson at No. 9 in career PGA TOUR victories and would move him to four behind No. 8 Walter Hagen’s 45 wins.
The last player to win back-to-back starts on the PGA TOUR was Jonathan Byrd, 2010 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, 2011 Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
The last player to win in back-to-back weeks was Tiger Woods, 2009 Buick Open, World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
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Keegan Bradley, 71-69-66=206 (-7)
Rookie of the Year in 2011, Keegan Bradley matched Bryce Molder and defending champion Aaron Baddeley for the low round of the day at Riviera on Saturday with a 5-under-par 66.
Both of Bradley’s victories have come when he trailed through three rounds. Bradley’s best previous standing through 54 holes is 3rd at last year’s PGA Championship, which he won.
Bradley leads the field in several putting categories this week:
Strokes gained - 2.875 (meaning with the putts that he has made, he has gained 2.875 strokes on the field)
Putts per round - 25
Putting average - 1.552
Bradley is making his fifth start of 2012 with top-25 finishes in all four events in which he has played this year but has yet to record a top-10 finish.
Bradley three-putted the final hole to miss the cut at last year’s Northern Trust Open, his only other appearance at the event. He has improved his score in every one of the five rounds in which he has played at Riviera with rounds of 74-72 in 2011 and 71-69-66 this year.
At 25 years, 8 months and 13 days, Keegan Bradley would miss out on being the tournament’s youngest winner by a little over a year. Pat Fitzsimmons won the 1975 event at the age of 24 years, 2 months and 8 days.
Bradley is looking for his third career victory in his 33rd career start on the PGA TOUR.
Jonathan Byrd, 68-70-69=207 (-6)
Jonathan Byrd is one off the lead at the Northern Trust Open in a tournament that he has missed the cut in 5 of 7 previous events. His best previous finish at Riviera Country Club is T37 in 2010.
Byrd has three consecutive rounds below par to start this year’s Northern Trust Open. Before this week, Byrd had only broken par at this event in 14 of 16 career rounds and had never shot back-to-back rounds below par.
Byrd’s last top-10 finish in California came in 2006 with a T3 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
A win would be Byrd’s sixth career PGA TOUR victory and would give him a win in each of the last three seasons.
Bryce Molder, 74-67-66=207 (-6)
Bryce Molder, winner at last year’s Frys.Com Open, matched Aaron Baddeley for the low round on Saturday with a 5-under-par 66 to move to T2. Molder has three top-25 finishes in five events this season including a T7 at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Aaron Baddeley, 74-69-66=208 (-5)
Defending Champion Aaron Baddeley matched Keegan Bradley and Bryce Molder for low round of the day with a 5-under-par 66. With the round, Baddeley moved from T28 to T6 and finishes the third round two strokes off the lead.
Defending Champion Aaron Baddeley is one of nine past champions representing 11 titles in the field.
Aaron Baddeley (2011) T6
Phil Mickelson (2008, 2009) 1st
Charles Howell III (2007) MC
Rory Sabbatini (2006) MC
Adam Scott (2005) T26
Robert Allenby (2001) MC
Ernie Els (1999) T38
Billy Mayfair (1998) T61
Fred Couples (1990, 1992) MC
Pat Perez, 72-65-70=207 (-6)
Playing in the final group on Saturday, Pat Perez rebounded from a bogey on the third hole followed by a double bogey on the fourth to shoot a 1-under-par 70 and is one off the lead heading into the final round. His best finish in 10 starts at Riviera is an eighth-place finish in 2007.
Perez is looking for his second career victory. He won for the first time at the 2009 Bob Hope Classic hosted by Arnold Palmer in Palm Springs, Calif. His last top-10 finish came in August 2011 at the Reno-Tahoe Open, where he was runner-up.
The Northern Trust Open field includes the top five players in the current FedExCup standings. Here’s a look at how those five are faring through 54 holes:
Kyle Stanley 74-68-70=212 (T20)
Johnson Wagner 73-71-68=212 (T20)
Mark Wilson 75-72 (MC)
Brandt Snedeker 75-70-68=213 (T26)
Phil Mickelson 66-70-70=206 (1st)
Players in the top-10 of the FedExCup standings on March 5, 2012, who are not otherwise qualified for the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship will gain entry to the second World Golf Championships event of the season.
Twenty-seven of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking are in the field this week, including No. 1 ranked, 2011 PGA TOUR Player of the Year Luke Donald, who is making his 2012 PGA TOUR season debut. Donald is currently T26 (70-72-71) through 54 holes. Donald finished 2011 with four consecutive top-10 finishes. If he finishes outside the top 20 on Sunday, it will be the first time he has finished outside the top 20 on the PGA TOUR since missing the cut at the 2011 British Open.
Donald is joined in the field by three other players in the top 10 in the world with No. 7 Jason Day (T68), No. 8 Adam Scott (T26) and No. 10 Dustin Johnson (T6).
Players who aren’t otherwise qualified for the Cadillac Championship can also get into the field by finishing in the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking on Feb. 27, 2012 or again on March 5, 2012.
In the last three weeks on TOUR, victors came back from deficits of seven (Brandt Snedeker/Farmers Insurance Open), eight (Kyle Stanley/Waste Management Phoenix Open) and six (Phil Mickelson/AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am).
American players have won the first six events of the 2012 PGA TOUR season. The last time there was such a streak to start the season was 2001 when U.S. players won the first eight events of the year before Robert Allenby won the Northern Trust Open. Of the top-10 players on the leaderboard, only two are from outside the United States (Jarrod Lyle – Australia and Aaron Baddeley - Australia).
R1 – None
R2 – Pat Perez (65); Jarrod Lyle (65); Retief Goosen (67); Jason Kokrak (67); George McNeill (67).
R3 – None
Partly cloudy with temperatures reaching 60 degrees. Winds SW 8-12 mph.
On Friday, the second-round was suspended due to darkness at 5:50 p.m. with eight players still on the course. The second-round resumed Saturday morning at 6:45 a.m. The third round began as scheduled.
Third-Round Golf Leaderboard
T1 Phil Mickelson 66-70-70=206 (-7)
T1 Keegan Bradley 71-69-66=206 (-7)
T3 Pat Perez 72-65-70=207 (-6)
T3 Jonathan Byrd 68-70-69=207 (-6)
T3 Bryce Molder 74-67-66=207 (-6)
T6 Aaron Baddeley 73-69-66=208 (-5)
T6 Dustin Johnson 71-70-67=208 (-5)
T6 Bill Haas 72-68-68=208 (-5)
Chevron’s EAGLES FOR EDUCATION initiative will donate $2,500 for every eagle scored during the Northern Trust Open. Each eagle will support 350 students through the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce and The First Tee. Chevron’s goal is to raise $100,000 over the course of the week. In addition to the funding provided, Chevron is also hosting more than 500 Los Angeles area students to the “STEM Zone” - a customized hospitality area dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Through the first three rounds 21 eagles were recorded, which earns a donation of $52,500 to the EAGLES FOR EDUCATION initiative.
Source: PGA TOUR Media Release