Blog Entry

McIlroy, Honda stalled by thunderstorms

Posted on: March 4, 2012 10:30 am
Edited on: March 4, 2012 1:10 pm
By Steve Elling

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- The golf deities seem to be smiling down on Rory McIlroy, who is poised to take over the No. 1 ranking Sunday if he can hang on to the lead and win the Honda Classic.

The weather gods, not so much.

Even with tee times moved up 3½ hours Sunday because of a bad weather forecast, play was delayed for close to two hours because of thunderstorms caused by a fast-moving cold front.

Play was halted after 70 minutes and only 34 players had completed at least one hole. The winds were expected to gust at around 40 mph during the afternoon, which could make the day a dicey proposition for those chasing McIlroy, who started the final round with a two-shot lead. The leaders eventually went off at about 12:20 p.m.

The tees on the infamous Bear Trap holes, Nos. 15-17, after being moved generously up Saturday, are back at full bore for the final round. The two par-3 holes will play 179 and 186 yards, both over water. 

Play was halted at 9:36 a.m. ET, and after a fairly tame week, conditions were already difficult. Of the 34 players on the course, only two of them are under par for the round.

McIlroy, 22, has won twice in the five instances in which he has started the final round with at least a share of the lead in European and PGA tour competition.

Category: Golf

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: March 4, 2012 12:52 pm

McIlroy, Honda stalled by thunderstorms

Good analysis, Teres.  I hope you are right.  I tend to think more players could get into the mix.  If someone shoots 64 and the leaders shoot par or worse, who knows.  Rory is only one gust of wind or bad bounce away from a double bogey.  I hope he waltzes home, but I expect a tough battle.

I think Rory prefers sunny "U.S. golf" to the rain and wind of the UK.  Despite the high expectations of the media, I consider Rory a 50/50 prospect at best.  You never know how it will play out, but two shots is not a lot.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: March 4, 2012 12:40 pm

McIlroy, Honda stalled by thunderstorms

Rory McIlroy was already going to be tough to beat today.  If the wind keeps blowing, he might be unstoppable.  Usually, the only US players who can play in the wind with as much imagination as those from Ireland or Scotland are those from Texas.   I don't see a lot of Texans within striking range.  It is unseasonably cold today in the Tampa Bay area; if it is like that over in WPB, it will make Rory feel even more at home.  

That being said, it would be a great time for a young US player such as Keegan Bradley to step up and have a great final round.  Maybe he got enough wind and cold in Massachusetts to play well in it today.  Unless McIlroy totally screws up, though, I can't imagine anyone coming from more than four strokes down to beat him today.  That leaves five players on the course with a "legitimate" chance to beat an even semi-competent McIlroy. 

Since: Sep 3, 2008
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:08 am

McIlroy, Honda stalled by thunderstorms

Eldreds charge will be delayed. 

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