While Rosie McIlroy was in town Thursday for her 63rd birthday, it was her 24-year-old son Rory who had reason to celebrate.
A year ago, he quit the Honda Classic in the middle of the second round. Thursday, he returned and had his best round ever at PGA National, firing a 7-under-par 63 to take a one-stroke lead over little-known Russell Henley.
Both of McIlroy’s parents — visiting from Northern Ireland — were in the gallery for his first bogey-free round at the Honda. So was his fiancée, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, who got a peck on the cheek as McIlroy walked off No. 18 after sinking a 4-foot putt for his seventh birdie of the day.