Simpson, Noren share PGA lead


PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLA.

Tiger Woods had what he called “easily” his best round hitting the ball, and he didn’t even break par at the Honda Classic.

Alex Noren and Webb Simpson shared the lead at 4-under 66 in steady wind on a penal PGA National golf course. Both dropped only one shot Thursday, which might have been as great an accomplishment as any of their birdies.

Simpson is playing the Honda Classic for the first time in seven years.

Only 20 players broke par, and just as many were at 76 or worse.

Woods had only one big blunder — a double bogey on the par-5 third hole when he missed the green and missed a 3-foot putt — in an otherwise stress-free round. He had one other bogey against three birdies.

Adam Scott went into the water on the par-3 15th and made double bogey, and then hit into the water on the par-3 17th and made triple bogey. He shot 73.

Rory McIlroy was at even par deep into the back nine when he figured his last chance at birdie would be the par-5 18th. Once he got there, he figured his best chance at birdie was to hit 3-wood on or near the green. Instead, he came up a yard short and into the water, made double bogey and shot 72.

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