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Honda Classic 2012 Leaderboard: Rory McIlroy Can't Let the Back 9 Take Him Out

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - MARCH 01:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the Honda Classic at PGA National on March 1, 2012 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Jeff ChaseSenior Analyst IIMarch 2, 2012

With the top of the leaderboard at the Honda Classic within his grasp, Rory McIlroy cannot allow himself to fall out of this tournament in the back nine of Day 2.

Currently, he is sitting amongst the top ten with a score of -5 thru the first eight holes, with just one birdie thus far on Day 2.

McIlroy did finish Day 1 with a score of four-under, which he had two birdies and a bogey on the front nine, while having quite an impressive three-birdie showing on the back nine.

With 10-18 approaching, McIlroy must stay strong heading into the final parts of Day 2. With the lead sitting at eight-under, he is easily within reach of catching up with Tom Gillis.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - MARCH 01:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland lines up a putt on the 17th hole during the first round of the Honda Classic at PGA National on March 1, 2012 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

While he hasn't done anything to concern watchers today, the chance of McIlroy slipping in the back-nine would potentially take him out of of contending for this title.

He has shown strong results consistently throughout his career through the early parts of tournaments, but he often loses his grasp on the leaderboard as the final days are played.

With a wide opening to move up to the front of the group, it is imperative that he plays similar to what he did yesterday.

With no bogies on Day 2, he will have to make sure he has none on the back nine. Any could push him further back in the standings, as this tournament is looking to be quite fluid on the leaderboard through the final two days of the tournament.

McIlroy knows what he has to catch up to, as well as going up against others that are sitting in the same spot as him.

If he can continue to have a strong outing on this day of the Honda Classic, the weekend will be his to lose.

 

Jeff Chase is a Featured Columnist for the Chicago Cubs and Arizona State football.

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