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Northern Trust Open: Luke Donald, Bubba Watson in

February 16, 2012 |  1:07 pm

Bubba Watson

With wind gusts reported as strong as 35 miles per hour, the golfing has been an adventure so far Thursday during the first round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club. The people who carry the signs with the scores of golfers in each group have been called in because it's hard to hold those things in the wind.

Luke Donald, the world's No. 1-ranked golfer, and Bubba Watson, who has never better than 114th in this event, are both finished with their first rounds at one-under-par 70. The early leader, with a three-under 68, is Jonathan Byrd.

Afternoon tee times are running about 25 minutes late because of the winds, so Phil Mickelson, who won here in 2008 and 2009 and who is coming in off his first win of 2012 at Pebble Beach last week, hasn't teed off yet. Fred Couples, the popular two-time champion, began his round with a birdie on the par-five first hole.


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-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Bubba Watson watches his tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club onThursday. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images