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March 2 2012

12:00 AM

Final update: Love leads, McIlroy in mix

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Davis Love III took advantage of benign conditions, and a hole-in-one, to post a course record-tying 6-under 64 early Thursday at PGA National then watched as everyone else tried to catch him.

No one did.

Love, who will captain the U.S. Ryder Cup team later this fall, has talked openly about trying to play his way onto his own team. If he can play the rest of the week anywhere near the way he did in the opening round, he just might. The 47-year-old added five birdies and made just one bogey in a flawless round in near windless conditions.

As the wind increased in the afternoon wave, so did the scores.

Tiger Woods shot a 1-over 71 in breezy conditions, taking 34 putts along the way.

That only told half the story for Woods, however, as he rarely had a look at birdie from inside 15 feet all day.

“I just didn't get a lot out of my round,” said Woods, who hit 10 of 14 fairways and 15 greens in regulation but only hit two approach shots inside 10 feet. “I felt like I played a lot better and I putted a lot better. I just didn't score.”

Woods was frustrated enough with his putting that he spent 35 minutes after his round working on it with coach Sean Foley in the fading South Florida light.

Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, hardly struggled at all. He is one of eight players tied for second two strokes behind Love.

“It was pretty stress-free out there,” said McIlroy, who like Love teed off in the morning. “I hit quite a few fairways and a lot of greens and gave myself a lot of chances, and that's sort of what you need to do around this golf course. “

Justin Rose is also among that group at 4 under, as is rookie Harris English, who crept to within a stroke of Love before he dropped a shot with a bogey on the par-3 15th hole.

Two players -- Bobby Gates and Colt Knost -- failed to finish their round when darkness fell at PGA National. They will return at 7:30 a.m. ET to finish their rounds.

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