PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Rory McIlroy birdied his last two holes Thursday for a 7-under 63 to take the lead after one round of the Honda Classic.
It was quite a turnaround for McIlroy, who last year was 7 over through eight holes of the second round when he walked off PGA National out of frustration. He looked more like the free-wheeling kid who won this tournament two years ago to rise to No. 1 in the world.
McIlroy buried a few long putts to help the cause, though his game was solid through a cloudy afternoon.
He was one shot ahead of Russell Henley, who birdied five of his opening six holes before cooling.
David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., opened with a 3-under 67. Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., shot a 72, and Calgary's Stephen Ames was another shot back at 73.
Tiger Woods, playing for the first time in a month, was eight shots behind after a 71.