Former world number one Jason Day was very happy with his first round at the US PGA Championship as he closed proceedings within touching distance of the lead.
Arguably one of the most talented players striding down fairways, 2015 champion Day has not always lived up to expectations due to injuries and the health of his mother, which have hindered his progress on the course.
But Day – who secured a top-10 position at last week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational – snapped back into form on the PGA Tour this year, winning both the Farmers Insurance Open and the Wells Fargo Championship, while also finishing runner-up at Pebble Beach.
And on Thursday, the Australian star carded a three-under-par 67 to be just two shots behind leader Rickie Fowler at the time.
"It was good. I think I hit 12 fairways and 17 greens. It was nice," Day said. "I definitely gave myself a fair share of birdie opportunities out there but didn't quite capitalise on the front side.
"Being able to come back with birdies on seven and eight after I bogeyed on six, even though I hit — I hit a great shot into the par three, just straight over the green. Hit a five iron from 221. I wasn't thinking that was going to go that far. But, fortunately, I'd much rather be in the back bunker than in the water. Overall, I'm very happy with how things progressed out there."
Day had four birdies and one bogey on this scorecard to start the season's final major, and he believes the course at Bellerive Country Club could yield low scores this week.
"There's nothing really tricky about this golf course," Day said. "It just can be brutally long. How do I explain it? There can be two different people can walk off in the same group thinking it's the hardest golf course in the world only because you may be on the wrong side of hitting it in the rough here or there because the rough is pretty thick, and a guy that's flushed it all day long thinking it's a really relatively easy golf course.
"If you can ball strike your way around this golf course, you'll walk off thinking it's pretty simple. If you struggle a little bit off the tee, then it obviously makes it harder."
While golf is Day's focus, a tragedy away from the course is on his mind, and almost everyone on Tour's this week.
Former PGA Tour professional Jarrod Lyle lost his ongoing battle with cancer on Wednesday, and Day was devastated to learn of his fellow countryman's death.
"I received a text about Jarrod, and I just was — it's hard because you sit there and you know him and he's a buddy of yours, and he's not there anymore," Day said. "He's never going to come back. That's the hardest thing to sort of come by.
"I lived across the street from him when we first started out in Orlando. He's a good buddy of mine. It's obviously heartbreaking to see. I've known Jarrod for a long time, and obviously my thoughts and prayers go out to Bri and the two kids. It's just — they're going through some stuff right now. It's obviously — it's hard to hear that information when it comes through any time."
18 de octubre 2018
|Lakers coach Walton will monitor LeBron´s minutes, plans to use deep rotation|
|Lloris: United´s Pogba unfairly judged because of transfer fee|
|´Phenomenon´ Mbappe deserves Ballon d´Or, says Buffon|
|Dodgers on cusp of World Series after beating Brewers|
|Mata braced for ´difficult month´ at Man United|
|WATCH: Rooney scores wonderful free-kick for DC United|
|Kaino handed five-week ban for striking Roberts|
|Bears star Khalil Mack ´day-to-day´ with ankle injury|
|Anthony has ´a clearer understanding´ of his role with Rockets|
|Brewers remove Miley after one batter against Dodgers|
|Rams rule out Kupp for 49ers game|
|Giants owner Mara to talk with Beckham Jr|
|Bamberg battle back to claim Champions League win|
|MLB investigated alleged Astros sign stealing, found no wrongdoing|
|Timberwolves star Wiggins to donate $22 for every point this NBA season|
|Red Sox´s Sale won´t start game five of ALCS|
|Tsitsipas and Shapovalov advance at Stockholm Open|
|Witsel to Dortmund is signing of the season - Martinez|
|Pique confident Nadal will play in 2019 Davis Cup|
17 de octubre 2018
|Seeds suffer in Moscow and Luxembourg|
|Johnstone grabs hat-trick as England ease past France|
|Pogba and Mourinho disagreement over Instagram video, confirms Pereira|
|Nuggets coach Malone signs contract extension|
|Mayweather accepts Khabib´s challenge: ´We´re fighting´|
|Slovenia sack Kavcic as head coach|
|Morgan and Rashid star as England win rain-reduced ODI in Sri Lanka|
|Romagnoli aims to make Gattuso proud in Milan derby|
|Naldo signs Schalke extension|
|Bills to start quarterback Anderson against Colts with Allen out|
|O´Sullivan makes 147 at ´hellhole´|
|Barcelona know when captain Messi is angry – Abidal|
|Bertens loss hands Pliskova last WTA Finals berth|
|Liverpool star Mane undergoes hand surgery|
|F1 Raceweek: Happy hunting ground for title-chasing Hamilton - US GP in numbers|
|Canelo signs record-breaking DAZN deal|
|England hit by another Vunipola injury absence|
|Gruden: Oakland Raiders ´aren´t tanking´|
|Chiesa focused and happy at Fiorentina|
|We´ll see what´s possible - Henry not limiting Monaco´s ambitions|
|Wembley sale off after Khan offer withdrawn|
|Football needs people like Arsene - Pires keen for Wenger return|
|Abbas five-for torments woeful Australia as Pakistan take control|
|Henry: Wenger and Guardiola inspirations for my coaching career|
|Pires backs Henry and Vieira for Ligue 1 success|
|Bolt rejects Valletta offer|
|Wenger ready for January return to management – but where?|
|NBA 2018-19: The LeBron James effect on teams he has joined|
|Svitolina qualifies for WTA Finals after Pliskova loses|
|Genoa will sell ´superstar´ Piatek, admits president|
|Moutinho targets European qualification with Wolves|
|Embiid: 76ers-Celtics isn´t a rivalry, they always kick our a**|
|Vinicius ´calm´ as he waits for Real Madrid chance|
|Nothing else to say - Ramos posts clip of supposed Sterling stamp|
|Chiellini joins Mind the Gap campaign to help players prepare for retirement|
|Injured Kusal Perera replaced by Kusal Mendis in Sri Lanka squad|
|Big names return for Scotland´s November Tests|
|Essien tells Loftus-Cheek to stay and fight for Chelsea chance|
|Nainggolan relishing challenge of first Milan derby|
|Curry: Slap me if I tire of championship celebrations|
|Sevilla don´t fear Messi or Barca – Kjaer|
|Low: Dropped Muller is still very important for Germany|
|Hayward put ´dark memories´ behind him with Celtics return|
|I hope I´m in Klopp´s good books! - Koeman jokes after resting Wijnaldum|
|Rested Fellaini should be fit for Manchester United, says Martinez|
|France´s mentality must be right - Lloris|
|Bellinger seals dramatic win as Dodgers level up NLCS|
|Curry, Durant lead Warriors past Thunder|
|Kjaer surprised by LaLiga-leading Sevilla as Machin´s men remain grounded|
|A-League preview: Honda the big arrival as fascinating season awaits|
|Mexico 0 Chile 1: Sanchez helps La Roja to late win|