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Northern Trust Open: Watney, Choi and Byrd off to fast starts

February 16, 2012 |  9:06 am

Northern Trust Open

Nick Watney, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour last year, Jonathan Byrd and K.J. Choi, were off to quick early starts as the first round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club got underway Thursday morning.

The three were two-under par so far; Watney and Byrd were through five holes and Choi through six.

Phil Mickelson, who is coming off his big win at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Sunday, tees off at 12:12 p.m. and Fred Couples, who was second by only a stroke to last year's winner, Aaron Baddeley, goes off at 12:01.

Baddeley did not have quite as good a start, though. He was having trouble in the windy conditions that have overtaken the course early in the day and was three-over par through four holes.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Nick Watney at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament on Feb. 9. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press