McIlroy retains command at Honda Classic

Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:03pm EST
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(Reuters) - Rory McIlroy recovered from a poor start to record six birdies and earn a one-shot lead after the second round of the $6 million Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on Friday.

The Northern Irishman, who had been one ahead overnight after opening with a flawless 63, remained mentally upbeat despite two early bogeys and his positive attitude was rewarded with a four-under-par 66 at PGA National.

"It's just another 36-hole lead," McIlroy told reporters after posting an 11-under total of 129, one ahead of Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge (64) and three clear of American Russell Henley (68) on a day of contrasting fortunes for the big names.

Masters champion Adam Scott, who played with McIlroy for the first two rounds, made two double bogeys on the way to a 69 as he fell eight eight shots off the pace.

World number one Tiger Woods continued his recent struggles, making the cut with nothing to spare at even-par 140 after carding a 69, while Phil Mickelson will have the weekend off after shooting a 71 for a one-over total.

McIlroy, 24, has rediscovered his form in the past few months and 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.


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