Rory leads, Tiger battles

Updated: 2014-03-02 07:36

(China Daily)

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Rory McIlroy held a one-stroke clubhouse lead over Brendon de Jonge during Friday's second round of the US PGA Honda Classic while top-ranked Tiger Woods struggled to make the cut.

McIlroy held his nerve after two early bogeys to finish with a flourish, firing a four-under par 66 that left the 24-year-old world No 8 from Northern Ireland on 11-under 129 through 36 holes at PGA National.

Zimbabwe's de Jonge fired a 64 but a closing bogey kept him from a share of the midway lead, leaving him on 130 at the $6 million event.

American Russell Henley was third in the clubhouse on 132 with England's Lee Westwood and Scotsman Russell Knox another shot back.

Woods, a 14-time major champion who has not won a major since the 2008 US Open, clung to the cutline at level par for the event and one-under for the day.

Woods, who opened with a 71, needed to snap a streak of five rounds at par or worse at PGA National to reach the weekend.

"It was a grind, there is no doubt about it," Woods said. "I didn't hit it very good. Just one of those days where I fought out a number, which was good."

McIlroy teed off on the back nine and found the right rough off the 11th tee on his way to a bogey. Going over the 12th green led to another bogey.

But McIlroy turned around the day with a five-foot birdie putt at the 16th and a 12-foot birdie at the par-5 18th.

"It was a sign of maturity," McIlroy said.

"I didn't panic. I didn't try to do anything differently. I tried to keep doing everything that I had been doing."

- Agence France-Presse

(China Daily 03/02/2014 page12)