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McIlroy walks off course halfway through his round
Rory McIlroy left before his round was even over. Tiger Woods had to rally just to stick around. And with all that drama Friday in the Honda...
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Rory McIlroy left before his round was even over. Tiger Woods had to rally just to stick around.
And with all that drama Friday in the Honda Classic, hardly anyone noticed that Luke Guthrie showed off his potential in a big way with a 7-under-par 63 to take a one-shot lead going into the weekend at PGA National.
Guthrie, pegged by many of his peers as a rookie worth watching going into the year, played bogey-free on another cool, cloudy day.
Of his seven birdies, perhaps the most impressive for the Big Ten champion from Illinois came on the sixth hole when he had mud on the side of his ball and was able to work the shot in from the right to about 10 feet.
After finishing his round, he walked into an interview room when someone mentioned that McIlroy walked off the course after being 7-over through eight holes.
"I had no clue," Guthrie said. "I was just kind of going about my business out there."
He was at 9-under 131 and had a one-shot lead over Michael Thompson.
McIlroy, who missed the cut in Abu Dhabi and lost in the first round of the Match Play Championship in his previous two starts, made a double bogey on his second hole and rinsed two balls in the water on the 16th hole on his way to a triple bogey.
He hit his approach to the 18th in the water and never finished the hole.
He shook hands with Ernie Els and Mark Wilson and was on his way, but not before conflicting messages.
McIlroy told three reporters who followed him to his car that it was nothing physical but that he was "not in a good place mentally."
An hour later, he released a statement through his management company that he couldn't concentrate because of a sore wisdom tooth.
Woods looked as if he might join him. He wound up with another 70 to make the cut on the number, nine shots out of the lead.
"I didn't quite have my game like I did yesterday," Woods said. "I hit it much better yesterday, but I putted better today, so it all evened out."
First-round leader Camilo Villegas joined a dubious list of PGA Tour players who went from first-to-worst. Villegas, playing primarily on sponsor exemptions this year because he lost his full status, opened with a 64 for his best start in more than a year.
The Colombian was 13 shots worse Friday in a round of 77 that caused him to miss the cut. The last player to do that was Jim Renner at the Travelers Championship in 2011.
Kyle Stanley (69) of Gig Harbor was tied for 43rd at 1-under 139. Former Huskies Troy Kelly (71) and Richard H. Lee (72) missed the cut.
• Charl Coetzee of South Africa shot a 7-under 65 to hold the clubhouse lead by a stroke when a thunderstorm halted the second round of the Tshwane Open in Centurion, South Africa. Coetzee was at 12 under.
• Stacy Lewis made six birdies to shoot a 6-under 66 and take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. Lewis, the reigning LPGA Player of the Year, was at 11-under 133.