The best field of the the early PGA Tour season returns at dawn on Friday for the second round of the Honda Classic. Seven of the top 10 players in the world showed up at PGA National, further boosting a tournament that was once on the ropes into a pre-Masters powerhouse. As one might expect with such superstars in the field, a top talent took the first round lead. Rory McIlroy caught fire and shot a ridiculous 63 to get to 7-under.
McIlroy was out in the afternoon wave on Thursday, lighting up the Palm Beach track and the Golf Channel broadcast. Rory is a huge draw, no doubt, but he's not Tiger Woods. The world No. 1, who takes a golf telecast to an entirely different level, played Thursday's first round in relative obscurity. Woods finished his opening 18 well before 1 p.m. ET, even before Golf Channel's live look-in pregame show came on the air. The second round broadcast, however, will prominently feature Tiger, who tees off Friday at 12:35 p.m. ET with Zach Johnson and Keegan Bradley.
While the pregame show starts at 1 p.m ET, Golf Channel is set to come on the air for the live broadcast an hour later. Tiger should be five or six holes into the round when coverage begins, so we should see every shot for the majority of his round, particularly coming into the house at the infamous Bear Trap on holes 15 through 17. In addition to Tiger's group, the other marquee pairing will be one hole ahead and feature Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, and Luke Donald. Those six players should get all the love from the cameras on Friday afternoon.
The Florida swing also brings a transition from CBS back to NBC, the Comcast sister network of Golf Channel, which will add to the coverage over the weekend (here's how). But Golf Channel will fly solo again on Friday before Johnny Miller an Dan Hicks get involved. As usual, Golf Channel will have a simulcast of the the TV coverage up and running throughout the afternoon, via their LiveExtra service. But if you want to try and catch a glimpse of McIlroy and Mickelson, PGATour.com will have featured holes stream starting at 8 a.m. ET. Here are all your media options for Friday at the Honda Classic, with all times Eastern:
Friday's second round coverage
2 to 6 p.m. -- Golf Channel
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. -- PGATour.com featured holes stream (Nos. 3, 15, 18)
2 to 6 p.m. -- Golf Channel simulcast stream
Noon to 6 p.m. -- PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM (Ch. 93/208)