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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Golf is starting to feel easy again for Rory McIlroy, who bounced back from a sloppy start Friday in the Honda Classic for a 4-under 66 that gave him his first 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour in 18 months. Tiger Woods is making it look hard. McIlroy recovered from two early bogeys by running off six birdies in a 10-hole stretch. He looked solid from tee-to-green, hit putts with growing confidence and wound up with a one-shot lead over Brendon de Jonge. "I knew that with the way Im playing and the confidence in my ability, I would be able to get those shots back," McIlroy said. "I didnt panic. I didnt try to do anything different. Just tried to keep playing the way I was." He was at 11-under 129. Woods felt fortunate to still be playing. He was over the cut line after scrambling for a bogey on the 11th hole and wound up with a 69 to make the cut on the number. Woods hit only two greens over his last nine holes. His lone birdie on the back nine was a chip-in on the 13th after he missed the green with a wedge. "It was a grind, theres no doubt about it," Woods said. "I didnt hit it very good. Just one of those days where I fought out a number, which was good." Because 79 players made the cut, there will be another cut to top 70 and ties on Saturday. Woods missed the 54-hole cut the last time he played on the PGA Tour at Torrey Pines. David Hearn (70) of Brantford, Ont., is tied for 23rd at 3 under. Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., did not make the cut after shooting a 72 and a 70. Calgarys Stephen Ames was also out after a 73 and a 75. And at least hes still playing the weekend. That wasnt the case for Phil Mickelson. Playing the Honda Classic for the first time in 12 years, he had a 71 to miss the cut. So did Henrik Stenson, the No. 3 player in the world, with rounds of 73-76. McIlroy knew the feeling a year ago, when he took a steep fall from No. 1 in the world while changing equipment and trying to live up to high expectations, leading to his snap decision to walk off the course after 26 holes last year at the Honda Classic. A growing gallery in warm sunshine at PGA National saw a familiar game -- the McIlroy who won the Honda Classic two years ago. Swinging freely and putting beautifully, McIlroy hit his stride on his back nine with four birdies in five holes, including the par-5 third when he smashed a drive some 35 yards past Adam Scott and had only a 6-iron into the green on the 539-yard hole. De Jonge, who has never won on the PGA Tour, played early in the afternoon when the wind picked up and put eight birdies on his card in a 64. He was tied for the lead when he missed the green with a wedge on No. 9 and made bogey. Even so, hell be in the last group Saturday with McIlroy. "I think I might have got a little bit of switch in the wind," de Jonge said. Russell Henley had a 68 and was three shots behind. Russell Knox of Scotland had the low round Friday at 63 and was four shots back along with Lee Westwood (65). But the focus is clearly on McIlroy, who each week looks to be getting better. "This year is obviously a lot different," McIlroy said. "Got off to a good start. Im confident. Im playing well. This is the second straight tournament Ive opened with a 63, so if I can keep building on these good starts, then hopefully I can start converting." After a 63 in Dubai, he said he was pressing too much in the final round and wound up in a tie for ninth. Friday was another step in the right direction, despite two errant tee shots on the 11th and 12th holes that led to bogeys. His round changed with a tee shot into 6 feet on the 16th hole for a birdie, and then a 12-foot birdie on the 18th to wrap up his front nine and earn back the two shots he had dropped. After a 45-foot birdie attempt on the second hole rimmed all the way around and out of the cup, Boy Wonder took off. He two-putted the par-5 third. He hit a wedge into 4 feet on the next hole. He rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt down the hill at the par-5 fifth. Then, after a tough par save on the sixth, he sank another 30-foot birdie putt that McIlroy made look routine. The gallery is kept 100 yards from the green, so the only applause came from a few marshals. It sounded like a tap-in for par. McIlroy reacted that way, too. "Watching Rory play is amazing when hes swinging like this," Scott said after his own great recovery. The Masters champ put shots in the water on the 16th and 17th holes, both times making double bogey, and it looked as though his return to golf after a six-week break would be a short one. But the Australian ran off four birdies on the front nine for a 70. It will take a lot more to catch McIlroy, who has taken only 49 putts through two rounds. "Thats probably the lowest putting total after 36 Ive probably had, maybe in my career," he said. "So its obviously going in the right direction." Cheap Shoes Australia .com) - The Kansas City Chiefs activated linebacker Joe Mays from short-term injured reserve on Saturday. Wholesale Shoes Australia . Granada goalkeeper Roberto Fernandez saved Morenos first two headers from corner kicks taken by Sergio Garcia, but the defender beat him on his third try after Garcia found Moreno unmarked at the near post in the 78th minute. http://www.australiashoescheap.com/. - The Denver Broncos kept rookie wide receiver Tavarres King from joining the Green Bay Packers by promoting him to their active roster Tuesday. Online Shoes Australia Cheap .200. His solution to his hitting woes was business in the front and a party in the back."That would be a mullet," Norris says. Cheap Shoes Australia Onine .com) - Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mat Latos had an arthroscopic procedure performed on his right elbow last week, the teams official site reported Wednesday.Champions Tour golfer Steve Elkington drew plenty of attention over social media on Tuesday, sending out out two comments on Twitter about NFL prospect Michael Sam. "ESPN covering Michael Sam as a gay athlete is embarrassing..." read the first tweet. Hours later, Elkington tweeted, "ESPN reporting Michael Sam is leading the handbag throw at NFL combine...No one else expected to throw today." Elkington then clarified his remarks to a respondent, tweeting: "Im for Sam Im against ESPN telling me hes gay...." Sam, the Missouri defensive end who was the SEC defensive player of the year, could be the first openly gay player in the NFL if hes drafted in May. They werent Elkingtons first controversial comments made via Twitter..dddddddddddd Earlier this month, he made a misogynistic comment on the platform about a female golf writer and later apologized, saying that he had "been drinking." Late last year, he also made a remark about a fatal helicopter crash in Glasgow that killed eight people. "Helicopter crashes into Scottish pub... Locals report no beer was spilled," he wrote. During last years Senior British Open at the Royal Birkdale course in Southport, the Australian tweeted: "Couple caddies got rolled by some Pakkis (Pakistanis), bad night for them." And that followed a Twitter post in which Elkington wrote, "Things about Southport - fat tattooed guy, fat tattooed girl, trash, Pakistani robber guy, [expletive] food." ' ' '
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