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Northern Trust Open: Fred Couples still standing, Jim Gray is not

February 18, 2011 | 10:34 am

Fred Couples, 51, has started off his second round with three birdies and is in sole possession of the second-round lead at the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades Friday with a six-under par through 10 holes. Three men are tied for second including first-round co-leader J.B. Holmes. Others of the nine first-round leaders haven't teed off yet.

Also, Golf Channel analyst Jim Gray was sent home, according to the Golf Channel website, for an incident on Thursday between Gray and Dustin Johnson's caddy Bobby Brown. Johnson nearly missed his tee time because of a misunderstanding between his Wednesday pro-am time and the Thursday time. According to the Golf Channel website, Brown, who took the blame for the mix-up, and Gray argued.

This is the second time Gray has been involved in an argument while on a Golf Channel assignment. He also argued last year with then-Ryder Cup Capt. Corey Pavin about whether Tiger Woods would or would not be named to the team.

"Our aim is to provide the best possible golf coverage for our viewers. Anything else is a disservice. In order not to provide further distraction, we've decided to remove Jim from this particular assignment," Golf Channel spokesman Dan Higgins said Friday.

Gray was in a bad cellphone area and was unable immediately to respond.

-- Diane Pucin