Jason Day picks up right where he left off on Friday, increases lead at TPC Sawgrass
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Jason Day stood in the 15th fairway on Friday evening with a three-shot lead and coming off two consecutive birdies when the horn to stop play sounded. The Aussie had the option to finish the hole, but chose to wait until Saturday morning's re-start. And like everything else Day has done this week, the decision worked out.
Day returned to TPC Sawgrass, hit his approach to a tricky front pin to 15 feet and made the birdie putt to keep his momentum going. He parred the final three holes to post a 66 and take a commanding lead at the midway point of the Players.
"I'm actually glad that I waited to hit my wedge on 15," said Day, who has made 15 birdies and no bogeys in 36 holes. "We had the wind coming back into us today and the greens were just a little bit softer. I don't think I would have got it as close if I hit it yesterday."
Day broke Greg Norman's 36-hole tournament scoring record with a 15-under total of 129. In the first round, Day tied the course record held by Norman (and now four others) with a 63. And now, he has his sights set on the Shark's 72-hole record of 24 under when he won this tournament in 1994.
"It would be nice to get the 72 hole, but right now I'm just really trying to focus on extending that lead and trying to win the tournament," said Day, who leads Shane Lowry by four shots. "That's a big picture. It would be great to have the records, but right now I'm just trying to do everything I can to try and win the tournament."
Winning tournaments is something Day has become accustomed to in the past year. Starting with the RBC Canadian Open in July, the Aussie has won six of his past 16 starts, including a first major championship at the PGA. A victory at golf's unofficial fifth major would widen his lead in the Official World Golf Ranking over the other members of golf's Big 3, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.
Day drubbed playing partner Spieth by 14 shots over the first two rounds as the reigning U.S. Open champ was sent home early. However, Day could still cross paths with McIlroy, who shot a second-round 64, over the weekend. If he plays another 36 holes without a bogey, though, it won't matter what anyone else in the field does.
"I'm assuming that the scores won't be as low as we have seen them," Day said. "So there has to be a lot more patience this weekend. Patience, but also try and capitalize on the opportunities that I get out there. And if I could do that and focus on trying to do that, hopefully at the end of the week I'll be holding the trophy."