Published: Sat, February 24, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Honda Classic 2018 Leaderboard

Honda Classic 2018 Leaderboard

It's going to get more hard because these greens are not the best.

Key hole: 17th. This is an extremely challenging par-3, the last hole of the "bear trap". Woods didn't buckle, physically or competitively.

"I wouldn't necessarily say I'm in catch-up mode". He hit what he thought was a ideal bunker shot, but it got caught in the overseeded rye grass around the green and stayed short. "I need a couple Advil just to - I've got a headache after all that".

"It was very positive today", Woods said.

"To get a win under your belt going into it does make you feel a bit better but you don't have to". The wind will blow predominantly off the water each day, with a slight southeasterly component to the wind by the weekend.

One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

He took a four-shot lead into the final round - to date one of only two occasions that Fowler has managed to convert a 54-hole lead - and, such was his dominance, even a one-over-par final round saw him win by four. He knew his leaderboard position all right.

"One bad hole", he said. "Come on." An aberration arrived at the 16th, his 7th, as he found a greenside bunker from the middle of the fairway and proved unable to retrieve par from nine feet.

Woods remained under par until the 3rd, where his most ugly performance of the day was to ensue. Ranked 1st for par 3 and par 4 scoring average, 3rd for SG around the green and 1st for scrambling.

The Woods response was admirable and perhaps unexpected.

"I came over here to try to play some more American-style courses, get firmer greens, more rough, and to improve my driving and improve my long game", Noren said. Unfortunately I've made some of my mistakes, ie last week, and unfortunately that's part of it.

Speaking of retirement, the ageless 47-year-old Phil Mickelson was in the mix late until consecutive bogeys ended his chances. Nobody holes more 10-foot putts than Fowler and it can surely only be a matter of time before he puts it all together in a major. While he was back in his own bed last Saturday after missing the cut by four shots in last week's Genesis Open north of Los Angeles, his latest test, however disappointing, wasn't a total washout. His ball landed in the water and McIlroy dropped into a tie for 56th at 2-over after taking a double bogey. This wasn't really representative of his overall play. I'm trying to get my game solid for April (the Masters) and I've got some work to do.

Eight of the last 10 Masters champions have won a tournament in the six months prior to arriving at Augusta National, but speaking ahead of the Honda Classic, which starts in Florida on Thursday, McIlroy said he didn't think it was that important. "And they're pretty close to you, especially on the 17th tee", defending Honda champion Rickie Fowler said.

Like this: