GolfSunday, March 2, 2014
McIlroy in the lead going into last round
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida — Rory McIlroy did just enough to keep the lead in the Honda Classic yesterday.
McIlroy avoided a big number early in his round and narrowly missed birdie chances late. He wound up with a one-under 69 for a two-shot lead over Russell Henley going into the final round. McIlroy is going for his first U.S. PGA Tour win in 18 months.
Tiger Woods moved up 49 spots on the leaderboard with a 65 playing in the second group of the day. He finished two hours before McIlroy started and wound up in a tie for 17th, though he was still seven shots behind. Henley holed out from 150 yards for eagle on No. 14 on his way to a 68. McIlroy was at 12-under 198.
Woods, who missed a 54-cut at Torrey Pines in his only other tour event this year, was never in serious danger of repeating that. He made seven birdies, one by chipping in from 50 feet left of the 11th green, and finished with a 5-under 65.
It was his best round on the tour since a 61 in the second round of a runaway victory at Firestone. Then again, this is only Woods’ seventh tour event since then, and he did have a 63 in Turkey and a 62 at his 18-man charity event in California in December.
He still looked sloppy at times. He made bogey on the 395-yard fourth hole with a drive so far right that he had to lay up from deep rough. He dropped another shot on the ninth when he went from the rough to well right of the green, leaving him no chance to get it closer than 15 feet. But that was his last bogey, and he seemed to gain confidence toward the end of his round until three good looks at birdie failed to drop.
Argentine Andrés Romero was in 55th place with 209 shots after carding a one-over 71.
TSHWANE OPEN. English golfer Ross Fisher was close to his first European Tour title in four years after extending his lead to five shots in the Tshwane Open yesterday.
Fisher, one ahead overnight, carded a 5-under-par 67, including seven birdies and two bogeys, at Copperleaf to lie at 18 under after three rounds. His fourth and last tour win was the Irish Open in 2010, when he also played in the Ryder Cup.“It would be nice to win in a good fashion because I feel like the game is good enough to win by a good number of strokes,” Fisher said.
Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland shot 69 to be 13 under, and will partner Fisher in the final round. A shot further back were England’s Simon Dyson and Spain’s Carlos del Moral, who both made 71.