Rose and Gillis take joint control at Honda
Florida: Britain`s Justin Rose and American journeyman Tom Gillis moved into a share of the lead in Friday`s third round at the Honda Classic where ideal scoring conditions saw the course record smashed by three strokes.
American Gillis, 43, fired six birdies during mostly wind-free morning hours for a six-under-par 64 that was good enough for a tie of the course record until compatriot Brian Harman`s outstanding round.
"I`ve never lead out here after two days but I kind of wanted to do that this week - I don`t know why," said Gillis, who described himself as the prototypical journeyman.
"I don`t want to get too far ahead of myself but I feel like we are going to start knocking on the door. That`s how I feel."
Rose, who started on the 10th hole, would have had the outright lead if not for bogeys on the sixth and seventh holes that left him with a four-under 66.
"For the most part I am really happy with my game. I hit a lot of quality iron shots and the difference is I just made a few of those mid-range putts to get me up towards the lead," said Rose. "I`ve been playing nicely all year and feeling very comfortable with things and just been waiting for something to happen."
The low round of the day went to rookie Harman, who got off to a birdie-birdie-eagle and set the PGA National course record with a nine-under 61 that left him two shots back.
Rory McIlory, who can claim the world number one slot from Luke Donald with a win here, is one stroke off the pace after closing out his round with three birdies on his final five holes for a three-under-par 67.
American Dicky Pride (67) birdied his final hole to move level with McIlroy in a tie for third place.
Former world number one Tiger Woods, playing in the $5.8 million event for the first time as a professional, birdied his final two holes to steer clear of the cut for a two-under 68 and one-under total of 139.
Neither Woods, nor playing partner Lee Westwood (69), the world number two, could take advantage of benign conditions.
"It was a little bit of a fight today, probably the worst I have hit the ball in months but I managed to score," said Woods, whose mother and son were in attendance.
The 14-times major winner, who double-bogeyed the fifth, produced putts when he needed them the most, draining a six-footer on the eighth and a 12-footer on the ninth, his final hole, to put himself safely inside the cutline.
Woods was much tidier on the greens than on Thursday.
"I know I putted a lot better today, finally got putts to the hole and that was kind of the goal - not to leave one putt short. I wasn`t quite successful at it but certainly it was what I was trying to do," he said.
Overnight leader Davis Love III, whose 64 in Thursday`s opening round had tied the previous course record, returned a two-over 72 on Friday and is four shots off the pace.
British Open champion Darren Clarke was among the more notable players who will miss the cut after a five-over-par 75 second round left him with an eight-over total of 148.