Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Tiger Woods improves at Honda Classic but has ground to make up

updated 6:18 PM EST, Fri February 28, 2014
Tiger Woods has never won the Honda Classic and he has ground to make up if he's to triumph Sunday.
Tiger Woods has never won the Honda Classic and he has ground to make up if he's to triumph Sunday.
  • Tiger Woods has a better day at the Honda Classic on Friday in Florida
  • Woods shot a 1-under 69 but still trailed clubhouse leader Rory McIlroy by 11 shots
  • Former champion McIlroy shot a 66 a day after registering a 63 in Palm Beach Gardens
  • Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson are among those expected to miss the cut

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- The good news for Tiger Woods at the Honda Classic was that his second round was better than the first. But Woods still has a long way to go if he is to win his first golf tournament of 2014.

While Woods struggled to find his best form, Rory McIlroy had another fine day and was the clubhouse leader late in the second round at 11-under-par 129, 11 shots better than Woods.

Woods carded a 1-over 71 on Thursday in Palm Beach Gardens and improved by two shots Friday. He mixed three birdies with two bogeys, narrowly missing a birdie at the last on a shortish putt.

He got himself out of trouble at the 12th to save par following a poor tee shot and then executed a sumptuous chip for a birdie at the 13th.

The world No. 1 was expected to make the cut -- after missing a 54-hole cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in January.

How Dubai attracted the world's greatest golfers
Bringing golf's biggest prizes to Latin America
Henrik Stenson's $20 million year

Phil Mickelson, though, wasn't. 'Lefty' was at 1-over after a 71 Friday, undone by a double bogey at the 16th.

"No, I won't make the cut," Mickelson, ranked fifth, told reporters. "I had a tough time making birdies. My distance control was off. It just wasn't sharp."

Henrik Stenson, the hottest player on the circuit at the end of 2013, surely won't be around on the weekend since he tallied a 9-over through two rounds. The Swede's round included a double bogey and six bogeys.

It was only last year that McIlroy walked off the course in the second round, blaming a toothache. He later apologized but the episode was all part of a poor 2013.

This week in Florida, McIlroy is looking more like the golfer who won the event in 2012 on his way to the No. 1 ranking.

"It's a different end of the spectrum I guess," McIlroy told the PGA Tour's website. "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."

McIlroy couldn't match his sizzling 63 on Thursday but he still wasn't shabby.

After hitting bogeys in two of his first three holes, McIlroy didn't drop another shot and struck six birdies for a 66.

The tough course was clearly taking its toll, as McIlroy was the lone member of the top eight in the world rankings to be inside the top 20 at the Honda Classic nearing the end of play Friday.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:24 AM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
updated 10:48 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.