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The Loop

Dustin Johnson continues Riviera success, grabs Northern Trust Open lead


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February 19, 2016

There have been rumblings this week regarding Riviera Country Club's return to the major championship stage. Count Dustin Johnson as a proponent of this cause.

Johnson -- who has four previous top-5 finishes at the Northern Trust Open, including second-place showings the last two years -- turned in a five-under 66 on Friday to take the clubhouse lead.

Johnson carded six birdies on the day, with his lone mistake coming at the feared 10th. The 31-year-old dumped his drive in a greenside bunker, only to blast his shot over the dance floor and into another trap. Johnson failed to get up-and-down, leading to bogey.

Nevertheless, Johnson has historically made his Riviera move in the third round -- he's shot 67-69-67 in his last three Saturday performances at the historic Los Angeles venue -- putting Johnson in prime position to capture his first victory in a year.