LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Aussies rule at Riviera in the Northern Trust Open.

Robert Allenby, a playoff winner at this event 10 years ago, opened with a bogey-free round of 4-under 67 under mild sunshine Thursday to share the lead with five other players among the early starters.

He was part of a strong Australian influence atop the leaderboard, with John Senden and Aaron Baddeley also at 67. They were joined by Martin Laird, Spencer Levin and PGA Tour rookie Ben Martin.

Stuart Appleby was in the lead until a double bogey at the turn, while Geoff Ogilvy was at 69. His round included an unusual par, when he used his sand wedge on the 10th green for a 70-foot putt.

The chip stopped just outside a foot from the hole.

Defending champion Steve Stricker opened with a 73.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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