Golf | Honda Classic

Confident Rory McIlroy leading Honda Classic by one shot as Phil Mickelson misses cut

 

A confident Rory McIlroy overcame a slow start to shoot a 4-under 66 for a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Honda Classic.

 
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot on the 13th hole during the second round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens on Feb. 28, 2014.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot on the 13th hole during the second round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens on Feb. 28, 2014.
Stuart Franklin / Getty Images

Leaderboard

Name R2 To par
1. Rory McIlroy66-11
2. Brendon de Jonge64-10
3. Russell Henley68-8
T4. Lee Westwood65-7
T4. Russell Knox63-7
T6. Jamie Donaldson69-6
T6. Ryan Palmer66-6
T6. William McGirt69-6

Third round: 1 p.m., GOLF; 3 p.m., NBC

Inside: Easy morning conditions helps Russell Knox go low, 3D

Scores/Tee times: 3D


Special to the Miami Herald

The fans were all following Rory McIlroy on Friday at the Honda Classic.

And, on the leaderboard, so were all the other golfers.

McIlroy remained on top of Honda’s mid-tournament leaderboard by shooting a 4-under-par 66 in the second round at PGA National Resort & Spa. Combined with his 63 in the first round, McIlroy had an 11-under 129 total and a one-stroke advantage over Brendon de Jonge.

Saturday is generally referred to as moving day on the PGA Tour, but McIlroy turned Friday into staying day — as in staying in first place.

“I’m confident, I’m playing well,” McIlroy said after Friday’s round.

Although McIlroy has been playing well, two of the tournament’s biggest names — Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods — have yet to play well or make a move.

In fact, Mickelson won’t have the opportunity to make a move because he missed the even-par cut at 1-over 141 after rounds of 70 and 71.

“When I hit a reasonable shot,” Mickelson said, “I missed the putt. I just had a hard time making birdies.”

Woods barely made it into the final two days, ending up right on the cut line at 140 after rounds of 71 and 69.

“It was a grind, there’s no doubt about it,” Woods said. “I didn’t hit it very good. Just one of those days when I fought out a number, which was good.”

Does Woods, 11 shots back of McIlroy with 36 holes to play, dismiss his chances of winning?

Not quite.

“Anything can happen this weekend,” he said.

While Woods and Mickelson have struggled, McIlroy has shown admirable mental patience, particularly in Friday’s round.

McIlroy, 24, who started on the back nine, got off to a slow start, bogeying Nos. 11 and 12.

But he immediately displayed recent new-found confidence, which he re-gained after losing much of it during a disappointing 2013 season.

“I didn’t panic,” McIlroy said of his two early bogeys. “I knew I would be able to get those shots back. I didn’t try to do anything different. Just tried to keep playing the way I was.

“When you hit a few good shots, your confidence can go up quite quickly, but then you hit one bad one, and it can go down again, and that’s where I was most of last year. Now, even if I do hit a loose shot, I can get over it much quicker and much easier because I have the confidence in what I’m doing.”

Over the years, McIlroy has dealt with emotional ups and downs at PGA National and in the Honda.

Two years ago, he won the Honda title and moved up to No. 1 in the world. Then, last season, he walked off the course unceremoniously in the second round when he went 7-over after eight holes.

Now, he seems to be on friendly terms with the Champion Course at PGA National.

“I can see myself shooting scores here,” he said. “I can see 63, 64, 65 out there.”

Those sort of numbers, if they occur, add up to trouble for the rest of the field.

McIlroy is also on friendly terms with his putter.

He has taken only 49 putts over the first two rounds.

“That’s the lowest putting total after 36 I’ve probably had in my career,” McIlroy said.

De Jonge, 33, from Zimbabwe, has never won on the regular PGA Tour and has no top-10 finishes in eight attempts this season.

He shot 66-64 for a 10-under total for the first two days. He would be in a tie for the lead with McIlroy except for a bogey on No. 9, his final hole, when he left an approach woefully short.

Can he dismiss that shot from his mind overnight?

“I certainly hope so,” De Jonge said with a smile.

When McIlroy and De Jonge tee up Saturday as one-two in the tournament, it will be a matchup of the well-known McIlroy vs. the not-so-well-known De Jonge.

That’s fine with De Jonge. He seems to be taking everything in stride.

“I’ve played quite a bit with Rory,” De Jonge said. “I know obviously what a great player he is.

“But I feel very comfortable. I’m looking forward to Saturday.”

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  • Golf Glance

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  • LPGA - Canadian Pacific Women's Open Preview

    Thursday, August 21st through Sunday, August 24th Course Info Site: London Hunt and Country Club, London, Ontario, Canada Course Architect: Robert Trent Jones Sr (1959), Rees Jones (2000 - redesign) Par: 72 Yardage: 6,656 Hole by Hole Front Nine: 36 3,356 Yds 1 - Par 4 404 Yds 2 - Par 3 167 Yds 3 - Par 4 383 Yds 4 - Par 5 482 Yds 5 - Par 4 434 Yds 6 - Par 4 400 Yds 7 - Par 5 550 Yds 8 - Par 3 152 Yds 9 - Par 4 384 Yds Back Nine: 36 3,300 Yds 10 - Par 5 529 Yds 11 - Par 4 373 Yds 12 - Par 4 391 Yds 13 - Par 3 171 Yds 14 - Par 4 402 Yds 15 - Par 4 361 Yds 16 - Par 5 513 Yds 17 - Par 3 183 Yds 18 - Par 4 377 Yds Tournament Info Year: 14th on LPGA Tour Television: Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 12-2 p.m. (et), - Saturday -- 3-5 p.m. (et), - Sunday -- 2-5 p.m. (et) Champion: Lydia Ko Runner Up: Karine Icher Tournament Record: 265 (Lydia Ko, 2013) 54-Hole Record: 199 (Lorena Ochoa, 2007; Suzann Pettersen, 2009) 36-Hole Record: 132 (Inbee Park, Cristie Kerr, 2013) Course Record: Total Purse: $2,250,000 Shares: 1st Place - $337,500; 2nd Place - $206,907; 3rd Place - $146,672 2013 Final Leaderboard Lydia Ko 265 Karine Icher 270 Brittany Lincicome 271 Caroline Hedwall 271 Stacy Prammanasudh 272 I.K. Kim 272 Suzann Pettersen 273 Caroline Masson 273 Gerina Piller 274 Three players at 275 Past Winners 2013: Lydia Ko (265). Runner up: Karine Icher 2012: Lydia Ko (275). Runner up: Inbee Park 2011: Brittany Lincicome (275). Runner up: Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie 2010: Michelle Wie (276). Runner up: Kristy McPherson, Jee Young Lee, Suzann Pettersen, Jiyai Shin 2009: Suzann Pettersen (269). Runner up: Momoko Ueda, Morgan Pressel, Ai Miyazato, Angela Stanford, Karrie Webb 2008: Katherine Hull (277). Runner up: Se Ri Pak 2007: Lorena Ochoa (268). Runner up: Paula Creamer 2006: Cristie Kerr (276). Runner up: Angela Stanford 2005: Meena Lee (279). Runner up: Katherine Hull 2004: Meg Mallon (270). Runner up: Beth Daniel 2003: Beth Daniel (275). Runner up: Juli Inkster 2002: Meg Mallon (284). Runner up: Michele Redman, Michelle Ellis, Catriona Matthew 2001: Annika Sorenstam (272). Runner up: Kelly Robbins 2000: Meg Mallon (282). Runner up: Rosie Jones 1999: Karrie Webb (277). Runner up: Laura Davies 1998: Brandie Burton (270). Runner up: Annika Sorenstam 1997: Colleen Walker (278). Runner up: Liselotte Neumann 1996: Laura Davies (277). Runner up: Nancy Lopez, Karrie Webb 1995: Jenny Lidback (280). Runner up: Liselotte Neumann 1994: Martha Nause (279). Runner up: Michelle McGann 1993: *Brandie Burton (277). Runner up: Betsy King 1992: Sherri Steinhauer (277). Runner up: Judy Dickinson 1991: Nancy Scranton (279). Runner up: Debbie Massey 1990: Cathy Johnston (276). Runner up: Patty Sheehan 1989: Tammie Green (279). Runner up: Pat Bradley, Betsy King 1988: Sally Little (279). Runner up: Laura Davies 1987: Jody Anschutz (272). Runner up: Ayako Okamoto 1986: *Pat Bradley (276). Runner up: Ayako Okamoto 1985: Pat Bradley (278). Runner up: Jane Geddes 1984: Juli Inkster (279). Runner up: Ayako Okamoto 1983: Hollis Stacy (277). Runner up: JoAnne Carner, Alice Miller 1982: Sandra Haynie (280). Runner up: Beth Daniel 1981: Jan Stephenson (278). Runner up: Nancy Lopez, Pat Bradley 1980: Pat Bradley (277). Runner up: JoAnne Carner 1979: Amy Alcott (285). Runner up: Nancy Lopez 1978: JoAnne Carner (278). Runner up: Hollis Stacy 1977: Judy Rankin (214). Runner up: Pat Meyers, Sandra Palmer 1976: *Donna Caponi (212). Runner up: Judy Rankin 1975: *JoAnne Carner (214). Runner up: Carol Mann 1974: Carole Jo Callison (208). Runner up: JoAnne Carner 1973: *Jocelyne Bourassa (214). Runner up: Sandra Haynie, Judy Rankin 1972: Not Held. Runner up: 1971: Not Held. Runner up: 1970: Not Held. Runner up: 1969: Sandra Haynie (216). Runner up: Marilynn Smith, Kathy Whitworth 1968: Carol Mann (213). Runner up: Judy Kimball 1967: Carol Mann (210). Runner up: Margie Masters 1966: Kathy Whitworth (213). Runner up: Mickey Wright Previously known as Ladies' Supertest Open (1966-69), La Canadienne (1973), Peter Jackson Classic (1974-83), du Maurier Classic (1984-2000), Bank of Montreal Canadian Women's Open (2001-02), BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Open (2003-05), CN Canadian Women's Open (2006-13). Top Contenders Lydia Ko 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: Won 2013: Won Karine Icher 2004: 2005: 2006: T-28 2007: T-50 2008: mc 2009: T-55 2010: T-8 2011: 2012: mc 2013: 2nd Brittany Lincicome 2004: 2005: T-22 2006: T-50 2007: T-39 2008: T-38 2009: 63rd 2010: T-15 2011: Won 2012: T-60 2013: T-3 I.K. Kim 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: T-43 2008: T-17 2009: 7th 2010: 6th 2011: T-49 2012: mc 2013: T-5 Suzann Pettersen 2004: mc 2005: 2006: 2007: T-10 2008: 7th 2009: Won 2010: T-2 2011: mc 2012: T-15 2013: T-7 Paula Creamer 2004: T-18 2005: 2006: 2007: 2nd 2008: T-8 2009: T-28 2010: T-15 2011: T-18 2012: T-60 2013: T-10 Inbee Park 2004: 2005: mc 2006: 2007: T-26 2008: T-21 2009: T-24 2010: T-28 2011: mc 2012: 2nd 2013: T-13 Mika Miyazato 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: mc 2010: T-15 2011: T-18 2012: T-15 2013: T-13 Angela Stanford 2004: T-37 2005: T-3 2006: 2nd 2007: T-10 2008: T-17 2009: T-2 2010: mc 2011: T-4 2012: T-26 2013: T-13 Na Yeon Choi 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: T-32 2009: T-24 2010: T-11 2011: T-6 2012: T-3 2013: T-17 Anna Nordqvist 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: T-8 2010: mc 2011: T-29 2012: T-6 2013: T-20 Cristie Kerr 2004: T-21 2005: 2006: Won 2007: T-50 2008: T-21 2009: T-18 2010: T-8 2011: T-4 2012: T-41 2013: T-20 Ai Miyazato 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: mc 2008: mc 2009: T-2 2010: T-15 2011: T-16 2012: mc 2013: T-20 Lexi Thompson 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: mc 2011: mc 2012: mc 2013: T-20 Yani Tseng 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: T-6 2008: 3rd 2009: T-33 2010: mc 2011: T-29 2012: T-35 2013: T-24 So Yeon Ryu 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: mc 2013: T-34 Shanshan Feng 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: T-52 2009: mc 2010: mc 2011: mc 2012: T-55 2013: T-38 Katherine Kirk 2004: T-40 2005: 2nd 2006: mc 2007: mc 2008: Won 2009: mc 2010: T-37 2011: mc 2012: T-26 2013: T-41 Meena Lee 2004: 2005: Won 2006: 4th 2007: T-58 2008: T-10 2009: T-55 2010: T-21 2011: T-35 2012: T-26 2013: mc Karrie Webb 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: T-18 2008: T-17 2009: T-2 2010: T-60 2011: T-45 2012: T-26 2013: mc Lorie Kane 2004: T-5 2005: T-27 2006: T-16 2007: mc 2008: T-38 2009: mc 2010: T-11 2011: T-63 2012: mc 2013: mc Stacy Lewis 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: T-40 2010: mc 2011: T-2 2012: T-6 2013: wd NOTES: The LPGA moves north of the border to Canada this week for the 14th annual Canadian Pacific Women's Open. The top four players in the world are expected to compete - Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, Lydia Ko and Suzann Pettersen.

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