McIlroy in cruise control at Honda Classic

Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:38pm EST
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(Reuters) - Rory McIlroy recovered from a poor start to record six birdies and surge to a three-shot lead after his second round at the $6 million Honda Classic in Florida on Friday.

The Northern Irishman remained mentally upbeat despite two early bogeys and his positive attitude was rewarded with a four-under-par 66 at Palm Beach National in Palm Beach Gardens.

"It's just another 36-hole lead," a relaxed McIlroy told reporters after posting an 11-under 129, a tournament record low halfway total.

American Russell Henley (68) was in second place on eight-under with half the field back in the clubhouse, with Britons Lee Westwood (65) and Russell Knox (63) on seven-under.

Masters champion Adam Scott (69) played with McIlroy, but could not keep pace, slipping eight strokes behind but at least the Australian made the cut.

Phil Mickelson, on the other hand, likely was destined to have the weekend off after carding a 71 for one-over 141.

McIlroy, 24, has rediscovered his form in the past few months and he says he is back at the comfort level he enjoyed in late 2012, when he was riding high atop the world rankings.

He changed driver and ball last autumn and sounds eminently satisfied with the results, saying he can hit a variety of shots with the new combination.

"I'm much more comfortable with everything and I think it shows in the way I'm playing," he said.   Continued...

Feb 28, 2014; Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA; Rory McIlroy approaches the 8th green during the second round of The Honda Classic at PGA National GC Champion Course. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports