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Luke Guthrie Takes PGA Honda Classic Lead, McIlroy Withdraws

Luke Guthrie fired a 7-under 63 to take the lead in the PGA’s Honda Classic, while the world’s No. 1 and defending champion Rory McIlroy left the tournament with a sore wisdom tooth.

Guthrie, 23, is 9-under 131 through 36 holes for a one- stroke lead over Michael Thompson going into today’s third round at PGA National Resort & Spa at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

“Obviously we played the ball down today, so you might get a little mud here and there,” Guthrie said. “But it’s the same story it’s going to be all week, put the ball in the fairway or else you’re not going to have much of a chance around here.”

Tiger Woods shot a second day of even par 70 to make the cut for the final two rounds.

“Well, I didn’t hit it anywhere near as good as I did (Thursday),” Woods said yesterday. “I didn’t have it today.”

The 23-year-old McIlroy walked off the course after hitting a shot on No. 18, his ninth hole of the day. He was 7-over par, with a triple bogey on the par-4 16th hole, and trailed co- leaders Geoff Ogilvy and Doug LaBelle II by 14 shots after starting the day at even par.

“I sincerely apologize to The Honda Classic and PGA Tour for my sudden withdrawal,” McIlroy said in a statement released by the tour. “I was simply unable to concentrate.”

Boo Weekley and Graham DeLaet are tied for third at 7-under, while Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Charles Howell III, Geoff Ogilvy, Sean O’Hair and Doug LaBelle II are all a stroke back.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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