McIlroy did his thing to win the tournament and overtake Luke Donald for the top ranking in the world. Meanwhile, Woods gave him some unexpected pressure with his best round in recent memory. A final-round 62 helped Woods finish in a tie for second place. Excitement for this tournament was through the roof with Woods and McIlroy in the field. Fortunately, both delivered on the hype.
After three unspectacular rounds of golf, Woods turned it on in the final round. His 62 was the best final round score in his storied career. He had four birdies and two eagles in his round, including one on the final hole. He also avoided a bogey for the entire 18 holes. This was easily the best we have seen from Woods in years. After the first three rounds he had no business contending at this tournament. However, he got the fans behind him as he made his charge. His putter was clicking and for a little while it felt like we were seeing the Tiger of the early 2000s. He definitely made things exciting.
As impressive as Woods was, McIlroy was the real story. One week after an impressive second-place finish at the Accenture Match Play Championship, the young sensation earned a PGA Tour victory and his spot on at the top of the rankings. Most of us figured that day was coming sooner or later. Now it is finally here. McIlroy looked every bit like the best golfer in the world. He made clutch putts and didn't flinch when Woods made his push. This was nothing like the McIlroy that squandered his big lead at the Masters in 2011. This was a composed golfer that earned his ranking.
The Honda Classic and golf fans in general were also winners. Two of the most popular golfers in the world gave fans a ton of excitement in the final round. When you add this event to the epic showdown between Woods and Phil Mickelson at Pebble Beach, it is safe to say that 2012 has been remarkable. With the first major still a month away, things will only get better. This was another great day for the sport and everyone that was lucky enough to watch it.* - Mark Paul is an avid golf fan. He has played the game since high school.
- Tiger Woods
- Rory McIlroy