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Kokrak feeding off confidence from Pebble Beach

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LOS ANGELES – In four previous trips to the Northern Trust Open, Jason Kokrak hadn’t finished better then 34th (2012), and given his play so far this season he likely wasn’t on many fantasy teams this week.

But after his second-round 64 vaulted him into the lead at Riviera Country Club, Kokrak said he wasn’t surprised he emerged atop a star-studded leaderboard.

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“The way I hit it on Saturday, Sunday at Pebble, I could definitely see something special coming. But I just put myself in position, just like I'm going to try to do the next couple days and see what happens,” said Kokrak, who closed with rounds of 67-69 last week at Pebble Beach to tie for 30th.

He also said a few trips around Riviera have taught him the importance of patience, which didn’t seem to be a problem on Frida,y when he recorded eight birdies including tap-ins at Nos. 14 and 15 from 8 inches and 2 feet, respectively.

“It's been a struggle to learn how to play this golf course. It's old school. It's very hard,” said Kokrak, whose best finish on the PGA Tour is a tie for second at the 2012 Open. “It's right there in front of you. There's no tricky shots. It's just a good tough golf course.”