PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- Brandt Jobe, who is playing this season on a major medical exemption, owns the clubhouse lead at the Northern Trust Open after shooting a 66.
The 47-year-old Jobe, who suffered from a herniated disc last year, has 10 events in which to earn $303,178 and become fully exempt for the remainder of the 2013 season. Jobe has played in one PGA TOUR event this season, shooting a pair of 74s to miss the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open.
The well-traveled Jobe has won 12 times around the globe -- in Canada, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan, to name a few -- but has never won a PGA TOUR event. He's made 313 previous starts and has four runner-up finishes, most recently at the 2011 Memorial Tournament.
Jobe, who missed the 18th green and bogeyed his final hole, is tied with Matt Kuchar, who has completed 14 holes. Pat Perez and Robert Streb are tied for third at 3 under. He was in the first group off the first tee on Thursday.
"It's obviously very nice," said Jobe, who played at UCLA and estimates he's played several hundred rounds on the legenday course. "Going off first, obviously get the best greens, no one's been on them. It was cold, so the first four or five holes were playing super long and super tough, so it was kind of survival until the sun came out and warmed up a little bit. Not a lot of wind.
"Got real nice and warm. Golf course is in good shape so it was out there to do it if you hit the shots at Riviera."
The group at 2 under includes Fred Couples, Lee Westwood, John Rollins, Stewart Cink, Jimmy Walker, Tim Herron, Lynn David, Michael Block and James Hahn.