Honda Classic 2012: Davis Love III Atop Leaderboard After First Round

Davis Love III aced the fifth hole Thursday en route to a six-under 64 and the lead in the first round of the 2012 Honda Classic. Love matched the course record at the PGA National Champion Course and is two strokes ahead of the field headed into Friday.

Love described his hole-in-one after the round. From ASAP Sports:

"It was 197, and it was a little bit ‑‑ the wind was just starting to blow, and it was like a little bit outside of my comfort range for a 5‑iron; but you knew 4 was too much. And Matt [Bettencourt] hit a 5 and got it there pretty easy.

"I said, well, I'll just hit it up the middle of the green if I hit it hard, maybe it will turn towards the hole a little bit, just play it out there right of the flag a little bit safe; and hit it, and it was in the air, it looked great, just telling it to go a little bit. And it hit, I don't know, three or four feet short and just ‑‑ I don't know if it bounced once or twice but went right in. I couldn't really see it. It didn't roll a long way.

"Like I said it landed three, four feet from the hole. But they are so soft ‑‑ it was amazing. I don't think I've ever played this course in a long time with the greens so soft. They were backing up."

Rory McIlroy opened with a four-under 66 and is part of a large group currently tied for second place. Justin Rose, Ryan Palmer, Dicky Pride, Martin Flores, Kevin Stadler, Seung-Yul Noh and Harris English join McIlroy in second place.

Tiger Woods was not as fortunate as those golfers on Thursday. The former world No. 1 struggled to get any momentum going and finished the day at 1-over.


GOLF.com: Honda Classic Live Leaderboard


The first round was suspended for darkness with two players still on the course. They will return at 7:30 a.m. Friday to finish the round.

Ian Poulter, who was supposed to be a part of Tiger Woods' group, withdrew from the tournament due to an undisclosed illness.

For more on the Honda Classic, check out SB Nation's golf blog Waggle Room and SB Nation's golf hub.

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