Honda Classic Leaderboard 2014: Biggest Takeaways from Round 2

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2014

Golfer Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits out of a sand trap on the 13th hole during the second round of the Honda Classic golf tournament, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

The second round of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is officially in the rearview mirror, and Rory McIlroy is pacing the deep field.

Here is a look at the current top 10 of the leaderboard.

The Honda Classic Leaderboard
PositionPlayerOverallRound 1Round 2
1Rory McIlroy-116366
2Brendon de Jonge-106664
3Russell Henley-86468
T4Lee Westwood-76865
T4Russell Knox-77063
T6Jamie Donaldson-66569
T6Ryan Palmer-66866
T6William McGirt-66569
T9Chris Stroud-56966
T9Daniel Summerhays-57065

McIlroy’s excellence is what immediately jumps out, but it was far from the only storyline. Let’s dig into a few takeaways from Round 2.

Rory McIlroy Halfway Home

McIlroy didn’t exactly come out of the gates on fire.

Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

The current leader bogeyed two of the first three holes but ended up adding six birdies to finish with a four-under 66. He holds a one-stroke lead over Brendon de Jonge.

McIlroy’s recovery from his rocky start mirrored his overall strides he has made on the PGA National course. Just one year ago, McIlroy withdrew after 27 holes and walked straight to his car. His actions brought some backlash, especially because he was the No. 1 player in the world at the time.

He spoke with reporters about the difference a year makes in comments that were passed along by Bob Harig of

It's a different end of the spectrum. I wasn't quite comfortable with my golf swing. I was still tinkering with equipment. I just wasn't feeling in control of what I needed to be in control of. 

This year is obviously a lot different. Got off to a good start; I'm confident; I'm playing well. This is the second straight tournament I've opened with a 63. So if I can keep building on these good starts, then hopefully I can start converting.

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Tiger Flirting with the Cut

Fair or not to the other golfers, where Tiger Woods is on the leaderboard will always be one of the primary stories at any golf tournament.

Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

Woods flirted with the cut line all day long Friday and eventually remained in the field with a one-under 69. He is even-par overall on the tournament, which is exactly where the cut line was after two rounds.

Tiger is not out of the woods (pun not intended) just yet though, as he is still in danger of a 54-hole cut. If more than 78 players advance past the second round, the field gets cut to 70 after three rounds. If this happens, Woods would still be credited with a made cut, did not finish (MDF).

Woods talked about his struggles with Harig of

“It was a grind, there's no doubt about it," he said. "I certainly grinded my way around this place today. I didn't hit it very good. Just one of those days where I fought out a number, which was good.”

Looking forward, Woods could use the weekend to try to establish some momentum going ahead in the season. He struggled at both Torrey Pines and Dubai and finished in 80th and 41st, respectively. 

He did finish under par on Friday, so a similar performance on Saturday would help him gain some confidence in his game before the majors arrive.

Brendon de Jonge Quietly in Contention

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Brendon de Jonge may not have the name recognition that McIlroy or Woods do, but he has played with an impressive level of consistency at the Honda Classic.

As a result of his six-under 64 on Friday, de Jonge is now in second place and one stroke off the lead.

He has been impressive with the drives, irons and putter, as Will Haskett of SiriusXM PGA Tour pointed out:

There may not have been any gloating from de Jonge after two rounds, but if he plays like he has through two rounds over the weekend, he will earn the right to pat himself on the back.

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