SPORTS

Sam Saunders opens 2-shot lead at Riviera

  • Dustin Johnson watches his approach on the ninth hole during the first round of the Genesis Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

    Dustin Johnson watches his approach on the ninth hole during the first round of the Genesis Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)  (The Associated Press)

  • Adam Scott, of Australia, reacts after missing a putt on the ninth green during the first round of the Genesis Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

    Adam Scott, of Australia, reacts after missing a putt on the ninth green during the first round of the Genesis Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)  (The Associated Press)

  • Billy Hurley III hits from the fairway of the eighth hole during the first round of the Genesis Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

    Billy Hurley III hits from the fairway of the eighth hole during the first round of the Genesis Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)  (The Associated Press)

Sam Saunders played bogey-free at Riviera on Thursday for a 7-under 64 that gave him a two-shot lead among the early finishers at the Genesis Open.

This is how Saunders prefers to be in a starring role — on a golf course making birdies, not as the composed grandson of Arnold Palmer giving a rock-solid eulogy for the King at his memorial service last October.

Saunders had what he felt was his best round at as a pro at a tournament that Palmer won three times, though never at Riviera.

Dustin Johnson was among those two shots behind.

Jordan Spieth and Jason Day played in the afternoon and were racing to finish because of a fog delay in the morning. Of greater concern was a storm system approaching California.