Looking for back-to-back wins, Phil Mickelson is even through ten holes at the Northern Trust Open at Riviera on Saturday and is tied for first with good friend and fellow bomber Dustin Johnson. Both Butch Harmon proteges are at 6 under and maintain a one-shot lead over a host of players which include reigning PGA Champion Keegan Bradley. Uncharacteristically for Phil, his round has been relatively steady with seven pars in the first nine holes. A birdie at Riviera's famous opening hole looked to be indicative of yet another low number from Mickelson, but he has evened out over the front nine.
Johnson, on the other hand, is five under on the day and has chased down Mickelson. He has played 15 holes so far, looking for his first win of the season after being in contention last week at Pebble Beach in a tournament he had previously won twice. The young superstar has a win in each of his four years as a professional, but did not win until late last season in a condensed three-round Barclays. Johnson struggled at the President's Cup in Australia but a win in the first month of the season could be a huge boost and kick-start a dominant year.