Sergio Sitting On Top
Garcia, who was tied for the lead after the first round, is now at 11-under 131. He had eight birdies and a pair of bogeys in the second round at the 6,917-yard, par-71 Phoenix Country Club.
'I'm really happy with the way I've been playing,' Garcia said. 'Not only the last couple of days, but the last three months. At the start of the week, if you'd have given me 11 under, I would have thought I'd be leading by more.'
Garcia leads Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Japan's Daisuke Maruyama, who both shot 65 in the second round.
'I didn't drive the ball as well as I wanted early on,' Bjorn said. 'But on the back nine I played really good golf and hit a lot of iron shots really close.'
American Hank Kuehne, who won last week's Franklin Templeton Shootout title with partner Jeff Sluman and shared the first-round lead with Garcia and Japan's Jun Kikuchi, held the lead briefly on the front nine but faltered the rest of the way. He finished with a 4-over 75 and is 10 strokes behind Garcia.
Defending champion Kaname Yokoo struggled and shot a 75, missing the cut, which came at 5-over 147.
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Rory: Phil said RC task force just copied Europe
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy quizzed Phil Mickelson about what the Americans got out of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force’s overhaul.
McIlroy and Mickelson were paired together at Pebble Beach.
“Basically, all they are doing is copying what the Europeans have done,” McIlroy said. “That's what he said.”
The Europeans claimed their sixth of seven Ryder Cups with their victory at Gleneagles in 2014. That brought about a sea change in the way the United States approached the Ryder Cup. Mickelson called out the tactics in Gleneagles of captain Tom Watson, who was outmaneuvered by European captain Paul McGinley.
The Americans defeated Europe at Hazeltine two years ago with that new European model.
“He said the first thing they did in that task force was Phil played a video, a 12-minute video of Paul McGinley to all of them,” McIlroy said. “So, they are copying what we do, and it's working for them. It's more cohesive, and the team and the core of that team are more in control of what they are doing, instead of the PGA of America recruiting and someone telling them what to do.”
Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic
Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
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Woods happy to help Furyk at Ryder Cup
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods didn't hesitate when Jim Furyk asked him to become a vice captain at the upcoming Ryder Cup.
Woods said Wednesday that Furyk asked he and Steve Stricker “a while ago” whether they were interested in being assistants in Paris as the Americans try to win a Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years.
“He’s one of my best friends,” Woods said of Furyk, “and whatever he wants, whatever he needs, I’m there to help him. We’re worked well the last couple of years in the cups together.”
Though Woods has said that he wants to be a playing vice captain, he has been an assistant at each of the past two international team competitions.
Furyk, Woods and Stricker were all assistants at Hazeltine, where the U.S. won in a rout.
“Jim is very detailed, very smart, very analytical, and he’s just a fantastic leader,” Woods said. “For him to ask Stricks and I together, it will be special for both of us.”
Woods to hit '4 or 5' drivers each day at Honda
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Those hoping Tiger Woods will wield the driver early and often this week at PGA National likely will be disappointed.
Depending on wind direction, he said he will only hit “four or five” drivers each round.
During Wednesday’s pro-am, Woods hit driver on six holes. He found two fairways with the big stick and found the right rough four times, though a few of those misses were only a few yards off the fairway.
In two starts this year, Woods has struggled mightily with every club off the tee, but driver has been especially troublesome. He has found only 36 percent of the fairways so far (30 of 84).
The Champion Course here is a par 70, with water and bunkers often lining the fairways. Putting the ball in play off the tee will be at a premium, and so Woods opted for a low, penetrating 2-iron six times in the pro-am.
Woods said he did not make any equipment changes following the missed cut at Riviera.