Unaccustomed territory for Riviera contender Lyle

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) - Australia's Jarrod Lyle entered relatively foreign territory on Friday after charging up the leaderboard with a sizzling six-under-par 65 in the Northern Trust Open second round.

The burly 30-year-old from Shepparton, Victoria, has very rarely been in contention on the PGA Tour since his rookie season in 2007 and he plans to make the most of his opportunity this weekend at Riviera Country Club.

"I haven't really experienced a lot of it, but this year I seem to be getting myself into contention somewhat more often," Lyle told reporters after piling up six birdies for a four-under total of 138.

"I'm just going to get used to it, and I'm not going to change a thing. I'll do what I do and prepare as good as I can tomorrow morning and get myself ready for tomorrow's round."

Lyle, who trails pacesetting American Phil Mickelson by two shots going into Saturday's third round, was thrilled with his blemish-free display on a classic layout renowned for its small and challenging greens.

"Any time you can shoot bogey-free is pretty good, but this is a golf course that is very, very easy to make bogeys on," said the Australian, who has made four cuts in five starts on the 2012 PGA Tour.

"Today was good. I didn't get myself in any trouble and I hit some really good shots on the front nine and probably left another one or two out there on the front, as well.

"Any time you can say that and still shoot 66 is always a good thing. I'm just looking forward to building on this and having a go on the weekend."

Lyle, whose best PGA Tour finish was a tie for fifth at last year's Mayakoba Golf Classic, was especially pleased to avoid a bogey at the par-four 18th where his third shot from just off the front of the green ended up eight feet above the hole.

"It was a terrible chip," he said.

"Got lucky with a good (par) putt there but I couldn't have left the putt in a worse spot. So I kept the good round going at the end there, which was nice."

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)