The Starter: Rounds 2 & 3, Northern Trust Open

February 18, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

The second round of the Northern Trust Open is set to resume at 10 a.m. ET Saturday. Once a cut is made, players will be paired and the third round will begin. The Golf Channel will televise live action beginning at 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. local time).

Round 3 weather forecast
Chance of rain
Temp: 58 high/41 low
A 60 percent of showers that will increase to 80 percent later in the day; winds around 10-15 mph.
Player notes
Here are some of the players you'll see on Golf Channel's and CBS' coverage of Saturday's third round
Two-time champion Fred Couples got the second round started by rolling in a 94-foot putt on the first hole for an eagle en route to a bogey-free 5-under-par 66 to finish at 8-under-par and has a two-stroke clubhouse lead overnight. Couples is playing at the Northern Trust Open for the 29th time in his career. He has two wins (1990, 1992) and 13 top-10 finishes and has only missed the cut twice. If Couples were to carry his second-round lead to a victory it would be his 16th PGA TOUR victory. His first win came at the Kemper Open on June 5, 1983. The 27 years, 8 months and 15 days would be the third-longest duration in TOUR history between a player's first and most recent. If Couples' second-round clubhouse lead holds form, it will mark the 19th time that he has held or shared the lead through 36 holes, the last being the 2004. He went on to win four of the previous 18 tournaments in which he held or shared the second-round lead. Couples is trying to join Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer as three-time winners of this event. MacDonald Smith and Llyod Mangrum each won the Northern Trust Open four times.
John Senden is making his making his seventh appearance at the Northern Trust Open. His first round of 67 is his lowest score in 16 previous attempts at Riviera Country club and just his second round in the 60s. His opening rounds of 67-69 mark the first time he has ever recorded back-to-back rounds in the 60s at this event. Senden's best finish at the Northern Trust Open is T51 in 2007. He has made the cut twice in his six previous appearances. Winner of the 2006 John Deere Classic, Senden has made one cut in four starts on the PGA TOUR in 2011, finishing T20 at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Winner of the Northern Trust Open in 2001 following a six-way playoff, Australian Robert Allenby followed his opening-round 4-under-par 67 with a second-round 70 and is one shot behind Fred Couples. In addition to his victory, Allenby also recorded top-10s at the Northern Trust Open in 2005 (T7), 2007 (T3) and 2008 (T7). A four-time winner on the PGA TOUR, Allenby's last victory came at the 2001 Marconi Pennsylvania Classic, a stretch of 236 starts on TOUR. During that span he has posted 53 top-10s. Allenby's day was helped by birdies on all three of the par 5s at Riviera on Friday, a contrast to Thursday's round when he did not birdie any of them.
J.B. Holmes recorded an unfortunate double bogey on the 18th hole but still managed a 2-under-par 69 and is two shots back of the lead. He has posted top-10s in each of his last three appearances at the Northern Trust Open, finishing T7 in 2008, T6 in 2009 and T3 in 2010. Holmes narrowly missed out on next week's field at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship by finishing last week ranked No. 66 in the Official World Golf Ranking in a tournament that includes only the top 64. If he can jump into the top 10 in the 2011 FedExCup standings on Monday, March 7, 2011, at the end of The Honda Classic, Holmes would qualify for the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. Holmes has enjoyed great success on the West Coast. Of Holmes' 14 top-10 finishes, seven came as part of the West Coast swing, including both of his TOUR Victories. He also has two other top-10 finishes in Hawaii.

STORYLINES FOR SATURDAY:Phil Mickelson hopes to bounce back from what he called a terrible round. • Ryan Moore is headed in the right direction after a second-round 68. • Fred Couples doesn't need Twitter -- he's letting his play do the talking at Riviera.