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5 things to look for at Riviera on the weekend
A year ago, Bae had a share of the lead with Fredrik Jacobson going into the weekend of the Northern Trust Open. That didn’t last long after a 76 in the third round. The 27-year-old South Korean wound up in a tie for eighth.
Beljan lasted a little longer. He rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole in regulation to force a playoff, and then missed a 5-foot par putt on the 10th hole to lose to local favorite John Merrick.
Both are back in the hunt going into Saturday.
There were 21 players within five shots of the lead, so this is far from over. But here are five things to look for on the weekend.
BAE IS BACK: Bae made his Riviera debut last year with a solid performance - except for that third round. He was still hanging around the lead until a double bogey on the 17th hole, and closing with a 67 put him three shots behind.
What did he learn?
“Patience,” he said.
It paid off eventually, as Bae won his first PGA Tour event a few months later at the Byron Nelson Championship.
BELJAN BOMBER: Beljan likes his chances. Not because he’s only two shots behind. And not because only one other guy beat him last year. Beljan believes he is among the best closers on the weekend. His problem is getting there.
“I haven’t made too many weekends in my career,” he said. “But when I have, I’ve made the most of them. So looking forward to going out there, free-wheeling it and making some birdies and see where I fall on Sunday.”
His record bears that out.
This was only the fourth cut in nine tournaments for Beljan this season. For his entire career, Beljan has made the cut in 19 out of 56 official starts, or roughly 34 percent of the time. That’s near the winning percentage of Tiger Woods.
CINDERELLA STORY: Jason Allred last played a PGA Tour event at Pebble Beach - not last week, but in the 2010 U.S. Open.
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