Goodbye Riviera Pavin might make this his swan song

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LOS ANGELES – Corey Pavin says this might be his last Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club.

Despite a sluggish finish in Thursday’s first round, he put himself in position today to make sure he gets to play the weekend, if this is his swan song. Actually, he did better than that. He put himself in contention.

“I feel like I can win,” Pavin said.

Pavin, 51, was the sole leader Thursday at 5 under until making bogeys at three of his last four holes. He’s emboldened by memories of back-to-back victories at Riviera in '94 and '95, preceding his U.S. Open win at Shinnecock. If this is his last Northern Trust, Riviera members will still be able to see him at the course. They made him an honorary member this week.

Pavin, who played at nearby UCLA and grew up in Oxnard, has a home near the golf course. How close?

“Four stop signs,” Pavin said.

This is Pavin’s 29th appearance in the event. He remembers battling Fred Couples to the last hole to win in ’94. With Couples also back on the leaderboard this week, they’ll both be working to turn back the clock and reprise their duel.

Pavin goes off at 11:14 a.m. (ET) today, five groups behind Couples. Pavin’s playing well despite conjunctivitis in his right eye.