Tracker: McIlroy keeps lead, Woods fires 65

Rory McIlroy during the third round of the Honda Classic at PGA National.

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6:17:18 PM ET. 08/29/2014




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Rory McIlroy will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Honda Classic after carding a 1-under 69 Saturday at PGA National.

While McIlroy leads at 12 under in his attempt to win this event for the second time in three years, Tiger Woods climbed up the leaderboard with a 5-under 65 on Moving Day. Woods is seven shots back of McIlroy.

"There's still 18 holes to go, but I'm feeling comfortable with where my game is," McIlroy said.

We followed the third-round action all day long in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., including Woods' round shot by shot.

Here's how it all unfolded:

• • •

Update #19: 5:33 p.m. EST

While Rory McIlroy just misses holing a long birdie try and instead pars the par-5 18th to finish with a 1-under 69, Brendon de Jonge bogeys the final hole to cap a disappointing 6-over 76. McIlroy, at 12 under, will enter the final round with a two-shot lead over Russell Henley.

• • •

Update #18: 5:01 p.m. EST

Rory McIlroy rolls in a 10-footer for birdie at the par-4 16th to move back to 12 under. That putt did give him a three-shot lead, but not for long. With McIlroy on the par-17th tee box, Russell Henley holes a putt from off the 17th green for birdie to move to 10 under.

Henley now has a hole-out eagle (see video above and click here to watch on mobile) and a 50-foot putt for birdie today.

• • •

Update #17: 4:39 p.m. EST

Rory McIlroy bogeys the 14th hole to fall back to 11 under. But he still leads by two shots after Russell Henley's bogey at the 15th.

• • •

Update #16: 4:25 p.m. EST

Russell Henley holes out a pitching wedge for eagle at the par-4 14th to move to 10 under, two shots back of Rory McIlroy.

• • •

Update #15: 4:15 p.m. EST

Jhonattan Vegas bogeys the par-5 18th to finish off a 4-under 66. Vegas is now tied for second with Russell Henley at 8 under, four shot back of leader Rory McIlroy.

• • •

Update #14: 4:10 p.m. EST

Rory McIlroy sticks his approach close at the par-4 12th and then makes the birdie putt to move to 12 under.

• • •

Update #13: 3:56 p.m. EST

Brendon de Jonge finds the water with his approach at the par-4 11th, then leaves his bogey putt on the lip. His second double bogey of the round drops him to 7 under, four shots back of Rory McIlroy.

• • •

Update #12: 3:49 p.m. EST

Luke Donald is currently tied for fourth at 7 under. He's 2 under through 14 holes today and has made two birdies, including one at the 12th hole (Mobile readers can view the video here).

• • •

Update #11: 3:35 p.m. EST

Jhonattan Vegas birdies the par-3 15th, his third birdie on the back nine, to move to 8 under. Also Brendon de Jonge drops a shot with bogey at the ninth. He's now 9 under and two shots back of McIlroy.

• • •

Update #10: 3:14 p.m. EST

Rory McIlroy bogeys the par-3 seventh to drop to 11 under and then Brendon de Jonge sinks a 12-footer for birdie at the eighth hole to pull within a shot of McIlroy's lead.

• • •

Update #9: 2:54 p.m. EST

Rory McIlroy bogeys the par-4 sixth to drop to 12 under, but his lead grows by one after Brendon de Jonge finds the water off the tee at No. 6 and make double bogey to fall to 9 under.

• • •

Update #8: 2:18 p.m. EST

Rory McIlroy and Brendon de Jonge match birdies again, this time at the par-5 third. McIlroy is now 13 under while de Jonge is 12 under. Ryan Palmer and Russell Knox are the next closest competitors at 8 under.

• • •

Update #7: 1:49 p.m. EST

Rory McIlroy and Brendon de Jonge each birdie the opening hole. McIlroy, the overall leader now at 12 under, leads de Jonge by a shot.

• • •

Update #6: 1:35 p.m. EST

Derek Ernst is 1 under through five holes today, and is now 6 under overall. In 10 PGA Tour starts this season, Ernst has missed six cuts and his best finish is 30th at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, an event with a 30-player field. That finish is also his best finish since his victory at the Wells Fargo Championship last May.

• • •

Update #5: 12:53 p.m. EST

Jhonattan Vegas is off to a quick start in this third round at PGA National. He has birdied Nos. 1-3 to get to 7 under for the tournament. That gets Vegas within four of the leader Rory McIlroy who tees off in less than an hour.

• • •

Update #4: 12:13 p.m. EST

Matt Every is 4 under on the day as he heads to the Bear Trap. Every shot 66-73 for a two-day total of 1-under 139. He has five bogeys and one bogey during the third round to get to 5 under for the tournament.

• • •

Update #3: 11:51 a.m. EST

Brian Stuard bogeys the 18th for a 5-under 65. He three-putted from 2 feet for that bogey.

Stuart Appleby has jumped into the top 10 with his early play. He is just making the turn and has four birdies on the day to get to 6 under for the tournament.

• • •

Update #2: 11:27 a.m. EST

Brian Stuard is skyrocketing up the leaderboard. Stuard, No. 133 in the Official World Golf Rankings, is 6 under and bogey-free through 17 holes on Moving Day at PGA National. He escaped the Bear Trap by going 1 under through holes 15-17. He is 6 under for the tournament.

• • •

Update #1: 11:16 a.m. EST

Tiger Woods' playing partner Luke Guthrie stuck right with Tiger during their third round this morning. Guthrie, a 2012 Illinois graduate, finished with a 4 footer for birdie at 18 to tie Woods at 5 under on the day and for the tournament.

• • •

Hole No. 18: Par 5, 556 yards

Off the tee: Tiger with driver off the tee, and he finds the rough for the first time since the 11th hole.

Approach shot: Tiger forced to lay up after his drive found the rough. Walking after his third shot like he likes it, Tiger drew the ball in there and will have a good look at birdie for his eighth of the day.

On the green: From 15 feet, Tiger missed his birdie look. Looked like he thought the putt was going to move right towards the water but it stayed left.

Tiger finishes with a 5-under 65, which included a bogey-free inward nine of 4-under 31. He had seven birdies on the day and two bogeys.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 under (5 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 17: Par 3, 190 yards

Off the tee: With a tough hole location on this short par 3 over water, Tiger takes aim at the stick and comes up big. He has 15 feet for birdie.

On the green: A good opportunity to get to 6 under, but he can't make the putt and he remains at 5 under. He gets out of the Bear Trap with a score of 1 under.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 under through 17 (5 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 16: Par 4, 434 yards

Off the tee: After using an iron on the last two holes, Tiger resorts to iron again, and again its right down the middle.

Approach shot: His approach shot finds the green and is 20 feet from the hole.

On the green: A good look, but he slams it past the cut. He saves par from 5 feet to keep a clean scorecard on the back nine.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 under through 16 (5 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 15: Par 3, 179 yards

We are in the Bear Trap!

Off the tee: Tiger's just firing at pins now. He sticks it to 6 feet on the par 3 for his fourth birdie on the back nine.

On the green: Count it. That's his second stretch of back-to-back birdies on the inward nine. With that birdie, it also moves him into the top 10.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 under through 15 (5 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Luke Guthrie is sticking with Tiger hole-for-hole. Tiger fires at the pin at 15, as does Guthrie. The Illinois graduate is 4 under for the tournament after just missing his short birdie putt at the 15th. This is his first time playing with Woods.

• • •

Hole No. 14: Par 4, 465 yards

Off the tee: Tiger cranks a tee shot on the 14th right down the middle.

Approach shot: His second shot his pin high until it spins back a little bit to 15 feet.

On the green: Tiger's birdie putt from below the cup drops and that's his third birdie in the last five holes.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 under through 14 (4 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 13: Par 4, 393 yards

Off the tee: An iron off the tee splits the middle of the fairway.

Approach shot: A good approach shot from Tiger until it spins back off the fringe, which is no GIR.

On the green: Although Tiger didn't hit the green, he's still 20 feet away from the cup. He gives his birdie try a good run, but it doesn't drop.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under through 13 (3 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Brian Stuard is the low-man on the course at the moment. He is 4 under on the day with birdies on Nos. 1-3 and 8 through 10 holes. Currently, Stuard is T-18 and only one-shot away from the top 10.

• • •

Hole No. 12: Par 4, 438 yards

Off the tee: Back to finding the fairway for Tiger giving him a decent look at the pin.

Approach shot: His iron shot is left of the flag, but pin high.

On the green: From 30 feet, Tiger just misses his birdie attempt for three in a row, and he taps in for par. He seems to be feeling it now. He's currently tied for 24th.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under through 12 (3 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 11: Par 4, 450 yards

Off the tee: He takes driver off the tee on this par 4 after taking the 3-wood in Friday's second round. It doesn't work out though and he finds the right rough.

Approach shot: A decent lie, but can't find the green surface and goes long over the green.

On the green: No green needed here. After going long and left, Tiger chips in for the second time this week.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under through 11 (3 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Tiger's playing competitor Luke Guthrie is playing well this morning. The 24-year-old is 3-under through 11 holes after a nice par save at No. 11.

• • •

Hole No. 10: Par 4, 508 yards

Silver Lining? Tiger and playing partner Luke Guthrie played their front nine in less than two hours.

Off the tee: A fairway hit at the 10th with his driver, besides.

Approach shot: With a long iron into the green, Tiger sticks it to 8 feet.

On the green: It's a bounce-back birdie at the 10th for Tiger to get back to 2 under for the tournament.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under through 10 (2 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 9: Par 4, 421 yards

Off the tee: Another fairway missed for Tiger and that leaves him with a tough lie.

Approach shot: Good thing: He finds the green and will have 50 feet for birdie. He has made two putts of that length already today and has good momentum from the last hole with a 15 footer.

On the green: He leaves his first putt super short and still has 11 feet for par. Tiger misses and will tap in for his bogey. That's a three-putt for people counting at home.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under through 9 (1 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: England's Paul Casey and American Brian Stuard are both 3 under through six holes this morning at PGA National. Both players are tied for 23rd at the moment.

• • •

Hole No. 8: Par 4, 427 yards

Off the tee: An interesting tactic with an iron off the tee at the eighth. Thinking maybe with the wood and driver he hasn't hit a fairway, but it doesn't work out and he finds the rough again.

Approach shot: Tiger finds the left bunker after his approach shot it pulled.

On the green: After short siding himself from the bunker, Tiger splashes out to 15 feet. In the heart of the hole, and he'll save par. That's good momentum heading to No. 9.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under through 8 (2 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 7: Par 3, 226 yards

Off the tee: Pin high off the tee and Tiger is looking for his second birdie in the last three holes.

On the green: Tiger drops in another birdie bomb. That's his second putt over 30 feet that has dropped in the last three holes.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under through 7 (2 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Sergio Garcia, Vijay Singh, Luke Guthrie (Tiger's playing partner) and Davis Love III all meet Tiger at 2 under for the tournament, and on the day. All players are trying to make the Saturday cut.

• • •

Hole No. 6: Par 4, 479 yards

Off the tee: Another poor tee shot, and Tiger's ball settles in the rough – again.

Approach shot: Tiger's shot is short and right of the flag from the rough.

On the green: He hit his chip shot 6 feet past the hole, but luckily Tiger saves par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under through 6 (1 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 5: Par 3, 217 yards

Off the tee: With the tee's moved up, Tiger finds the green.

On the green: Tiger is about 40 feet away on the green, and what do you know, the putt drops. It gets Tiger back into red figures.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under through 5 (1 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Sergio Garcia birdies the par-5 third hole after a terrific approach shot. He gets to under par on the day and the tournament.

• • •

Hole No. 4: Par 4, 395 yards

Off the tee: Tiger takes his 3-wood off the tee on the fourth, and finds the rough. That's the third time in four holes off the tee that he'll play his approach shot from the rough.

Approach shot: It's a bad lie in the rough and must put it back into the fairway to to able to get to the green. His third shot finds the rough behind the green.

On the green: He'll have to chip down and save bogey, which he does from 5 feet.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even under through 4 (Even under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 3: Par 5, 538 yards

Off the tee: Another driver off the tee at the par-5, and it fades right over the fairway bunker, and into the short rough.

Approach shot: He lays up on his second shot into the fairway. With just a wedge in hand, for his third shot, Tiger sticks it to 6 feet.

On the green: With a good look at birdie, and to get to 2 under for the day – and tournament – Tiger can't get a read on it, and he'll settle for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under through 3 (1 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 2: Par 4, 464 yards

Off the tee: It only takes two holes for Tiger to take the driver out in today's third round. When he does that, he find the first cut of rough.

Approach shot: It's left short, but over the bunker in front of the green. He doesn't make it bunker and chips it up to 5 feet.

On the green: He'll one-putt and settle for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under through 2 (1 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Since Tiger was in the second group of the day, playing along side Luke Guthrie, there are only a few other groups on the course. Notables, though, include: Sergio Garcia, Vijay Singh and Jeff Overton.

• • •

Hole No. 1: Par 4, 365 yards

Off the tee: Starting off the day with a comfortable club off No. 1 ... an iron and he splits the fairway.

Approach shot: He almost jars his approach shot with his wedge and spins it back to 15 feet.

On the green: His birdie putt drops, and we're off and running this morning!

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (1 under for tournament).

• • •

Friday's coverage

• T. Woods' savior Friday: Short game that's "good again"

Grind it until you find it. That was the mantra for Tiger Woods on a Friday in which he straddled the cut line all day. Woods carded a 1-under 69 at PGA National’s Champion course in the second round of the Honda Classic to make the cut on the number at even-par 140. “It was a grind, there’s no doubt about it,” Woods said. “Just one of those days where I fought out a number, which was good.”

5 Things: McIlroy maintains; Woods sneaks in; more

Rory McIlroy put together the best opening-36-holes putting performance of his career during the first two rounds of the 2014 Honda Classic and took a 1-shot lead over Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge. McIlroy needed only 49 putts to shoot 63-66—129 (11 under), his best opening rounds on PGA Tour since shooting 130 at the 2012 Deutsche Bank Championship.

R. McIlroy credits maturity for improved play in 2014

What’s different about Rory McIlroy in 2014? That’s easy: everything. The McIlroy who is 11 under through 36 holes at the Honda Classic is not the McIlroy of 2009, when he finished third in the PGA Championship, behind Tiger Woods and winner Y.E. Yang. And he's certainly not the McIlroy who struggled through the 2013 season.

Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic second round

Rory McIlroy endured a rocky start early in Friday's second round at the Honda Classic – he erased early bogeys before stretching his lead on his second nine to pull away from the field. Tiger Woods, meanwhile, has started his round well back at 1 over – and barely made the cut.

McDowells expecting baby girl in August

It’s a girl! Graeme McDowell revealed Friday that he and wife Kristin are expecting their first child together in August. “We found out on Tuesday it’s a girl,” he said after a second-round, 3-under 67 at the Honda Classic. “Obviously we’re real excited.” The McDowells were married in October in The Bahamas. The couple found out she was pregnant on New Year’s Day after returning home from Northern Ireland for the holidays.

• • •

Thursday's coverage

5 Things: R. McIlroy in top form; A. Scott returns; more

A 63 in the afternoon vaulted none other than Rory McIlroy, he of the noted withdrawal a year ago, to the top of The Honda Classic leaderboard during Thursday's first round. At 7 under, McIlroy leads Russell Henley by one shot with a trio of players another shot back tied for third. Here are 5 Things to know from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

T. Woods: Could have been 3-4 shots better Thursday

When Tiger Woods was asked to name the positives from his 1-over 71 in the first round of the Honda Classic, he racked his brain and came up empty. “I hit it good enough to shoot probably at least three or four lower than I did,” he said. Woods' putter was colder than the polar vortex wreaking havoc on much of the United States.

B. de Jonge turns to N. Price, gets putting help

Brendon de Jonge came to Florida looking for some help, and he may have found it in Nick Price. Price, whose 50 worldwide professional victories include 18 on the PGA Tour including three majors, worked for more than an hour with de Jonge. They focused on head position, ball position and grip, trying to find the perfect combination.

Practice? We're talking practice? D. Ernst (66) doesn't need it

Derek Ernst made a huge splash by winning the Wells Fargo Championship last spring in Charlotte. Since then? The Honda Classic is his 24th start since winning at Quail Hollow, and he has missed the cut in 15 of those events. In other words, golf hasn’t been very much fun.

Tour Tracker: R. McIlroy leads after first round

With seven of the OWGR's top 10 in the Honda Classic field this week, plenty of buzz surrounds PGA National – and Rory McIlroy needed a 63 to climb to the top of the leaderboard Thursday in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. William McGirt and Rory Sabbatini were the best of the morning groups at 5 under, but McIlroy bested them by two shots and Russell Henley shot 64.

• • •

Pre-tournament coverage

T. Woods hints at adding one more start prior to Masters

While traditionally playing both Doral and Bay Hill prior to the Masters, Tiger Woods has added the Honda Classic this year and hinted that he might add one more prior to his date with Augusta National.

P. Mickelson returns to PGA National for first time since junior days

The last time Phil Mickelson played at PGA National he was a junior golfer. The last time he played the Honda Classic, it was 2002 – and he had yet to win a major.

Rude: S. Elkington stumbles into another social-media mess

Our Jeff Rude comments on Steve Elkington's unfortunate Twitter posts on NFL prospect Michael Sam, while also reading between the lines on Sergio Garcia's claim on conceding a long putt at the Ryder Cup.

Expert picks for Honda Classic include R. McIlroy, C. Schwartzel

Rory McIlroy, Charl Schwartzel and Brooks Koepka are three names mentioned often among the expert picks to win or contend at this week's Honda Classic on PGA Tour. Conspicuously absent? Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

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