Steady McIlroy has two-stroke lead at Honda Classic

Sat Mar 1, 2014 7:16pm EST
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(Reuters) - Rory McIlroy was steady rather than spectacular as he extended his lead to two strokes after the third round at the $6 million Honda Classic in south Florida on Saturday.

McIlroy missed only one green on the water-lined back nine as he compiled a one-under-par 69 in a moderate breeze at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens.

"I thought 69 in the conditions was a pretty good score," the 24-year-old from Northern Ireland told Golf Channel.

"You can't really get away with anything (on this golf course). You really have to be in control with your ball and for the most part this week I have been."

Two-time major champion McIlroy, whose gallery included fiancée, tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, posted a 12-under 198 total.

American Russell Henley (68), boosted by an unlikely eagle at the par-four 14th, moved into second place on 10-under, with Scotsman Russell Knox (68) alone in third position on nine-under.

Tiger Woods had his best round of the year, a 65, to move within seven strokes.

Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge started the day one stroke from the lead, but finished it eight behind after an error-strewn 76.

Henley recorded his eagle with a wedge from 150 yards. His ball stayed in the air for almost six seconds, landed a couple of inches beyond the cup and found the hole on the first bounce.   Continued...

Mar 1, 2014; Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA; Rory McIlroy on the 5th tee during the third round of The Honda Classic golf tournament at PGA National GC Champion Course. Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports