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Marino respectfully broke the news that it was the PGA Tour. And by the way, he was ahead of Els on the money list.

Westwood still misses his friends and family in England, and being able to watch cricket and rugby, or read about those sports on the back pages of the newspaper. He loves soccer, too, and has found the Premier League on TV as much in the United States as in the United Kingdom.

Mostly, though, it’s the warm climate.

“I like being by the ocean,” he said earlier this month. “I find it very relaxing. Just the weather, and getting up in the morning and not having to look out the window. Feels weird not having to get wrapped up and push the ice off the green.”

Not surprisingly, the stars are out at Honda Classic.

Even though it had the weakest field of the Florida swing last year, that might change now that McIlroy and Woods are Nos. 1 and 2 in the world.

As for a rivalry? That hasn’t started the way many imagined.

They made their debut in Abu Dhabi last month and both missed the cut. The next time they played in the same tournament was last week in the Match Play Championship, and both were eliminated in the first round.

The difference is that Woods returned to Torrey Pines the week after missing the cut. He left little reason for anyone to doubt his game when he built a lead that reached eight shots until the day dragged on and he won by four for his 75th career win on the PGA Tour.

McIlroy knew starting the year there would attention on his change from Titleist to Nike, and it only intensified with two bad results.

But the start of the Florida swing is no time to panic, and McIlroy sure didn’t sound worried at the Honda Classic.

“It’s fine,” he said. “I knew coming into (the year) it was going to be a bit of a process and I knew there was going to be comments if it didn’t happen for me right away,” McIlroy said. “I’m only two tournaments into the season. I’ve still 20 to go. So it’s not like I’m in any rush. It’s not like I’m pushing for answers. Everything is there. It’s just a matter of putting it all together.”

McIlroy put it together much sooner a year ago.

He was runner-up in Abu Dhabi, tied for fifth in Dubai, lost in the final of the Match Play Championship and then won the Honda Classic, making one clutch par save after another to hold off a late rally by Woods. McIlroy went to No. 1 by winning at PGA National, and he has been atop the world ranking since winning the PGA Championship.

How much longer he stays there depends on his game _ and that of Woods, who is making up ground.

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