He did it, then raised both fists and buried his face in his caddie’s shoulder.
“It’s not my type of golf course because I like a course that’s tree-lined, and you can see the holes”, the 35-year-old Aussie said of Whistling Straits.
Day, still seeking a first Major title after several close calls, was pleased after recording seven birdies and two bogeys in the second round for a 67. “Each round I seem to hit more good shots and if I’m patient enough it will come back”.
“I hit a great drive”, Day said, “Hit kind of an average five-iron in there and didn t expect to have so much sand”. “Just to be able to finish the way I did was fantastic”. He was at 4 over heading into his final hole. He bit his lower lip, swatted his caddie on the arm, knowing his work was nearly done.
The reigning Masters and US Open champion produced a scintillating back nine, birdieing six holes in a bogey-free seven-under-par 65 to sit just two off the lead.
What really mattered was that shiny Wanamaker Trophy at his side.
At the British Open, he also was in the lead after 54 holes but ended up one shot out of a playoff.
“Yeah, got off to a dream start, really”, McIlroy said. “But it’s really the honest truth that I’m trying to get out because I can’t get in my own way”.
“I didn’t putt as well as I would have liked”, the Northern Irishman said. Of the 49 players who didn’t finish the second round, 15 of them were separated by six shots. “He took it back”.
With Rory McIlroy’s world number one ranking in his sights, Spieth separated himself from the Northern Ireland star.
“I drove better today and I played the best I could”, he told APN. He’s already 50-under combined at the majors this year. Japan’s Hiroshi Iwata matched a major championship record with a nine-under par 63 – the 27th time a player has shot 63 in a major.
That also speaks to the depth of golf in this generation, and Day is the latest example. “So you look at it as a single major, as a chance to win this major”.
“You can never count out Jordan right now with hos he’s playing, especially this year”, Day said. “I still want to accomplish that No. 1 goal of mine, which is to be the best player in the world”. “Sixteen, I was very frustrated”.
While McIlroy says he is untroubled by his injured left ankle, he acknowledged that his lengthy layoff had robbed him of some sharpness.
England’s Justin Rose was in third place after completing a 67 for 136 – and all of the top three opened the third round with birdies on what promised to be an action-packed afternoon on a suddenly hospitable Whistling Straits course.
He was unable to pull the shot back at the par-five 16th, but drained a 24-footer for birdie at 17. He shot a 3-over 75 in the third round and is 5 over for the tournament.
For Day, whose lead might have been larger but for a double-bogey at the 15th where he left a shot in a deep greenside bunker, and Grace and Spieth, it was like déjà vu all over again from the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. He closed with a 70 and finished fourth.
Matt Jones, of Australia, watches his shot on the third hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament Friday, August 14, 2015, at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis.
It sure didn’t show, even if he felt it every step of the way.
“With the heat and everything, the ball’s going a long way”.
“I’ve put myself in the position, so the only thing I have to change is the end result”, Day said.