Golf: Cantlay leads as Woods vies to make cut at Riviera

Cantlay plays his shot from the 10th tee during the second round of the Genesis Open.
Cantlay plays his shot from the 10th tee during the second round of the Genesis Open.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Patrick Cantlay fired five birdies in a two-under par 69 on Friday (Feb 16) to seize the clubhouse lead at Riviera Country Club, where Tiger Woods was vying to make the halfway cut in the Genesis Open.

Cantlay, a Southern California native who shared the first-round lead with Tony Finau, kept the pedal down despite tricky early conditions on the classic course west of downtown Los Angeles.

His five birdies included a burst of three in a row that began with a near hole-in-one at the par-three sixth - his 15th of the day.

"I played well today," said Cantlay, who was in the clubhouse with a seven-under-par total of 135.

"The wind was switching all over the place for probably the first 12 or so holes I played and it was tricky.

"I did a lot of good things, just got to clean up a few things and it would have been a really great one."

Among the disappointments was a bogey at the ninth to cap his round.

That still gave him a two-stroke cushion over Finau, who was in the clubhouse on five-under after an even-par 71.

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, who claimed the most recent of his nine US PGA Tour titles at Riviera in 2016, climbed the leaderboard with four birdies in a row, but a double-bogey at the par-four fifth and a bogey at his penultimate hole, the eighth, saw him in the clubhouse on four-under, tied with Jamie Lovemark who like Watson signed for a two-under 70.

Woods, playing Riviera for the first time since 2006 as he continues his comeback in the wake of spinal fusion surgery last April, started the day one-over, and picked up his first birdie of the day at the third hole, rolling in an 18-footer to a roar of approval from a big gallery.

With the afternoon starters on the course, the projected cut line was one-over.

That would see world number one and defending champion Dustin Johnson make it on the number.

After a three-over par first round, Johnson posted a two-under 69 on Friday to stand one-over for the tournament.