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Day's 'quad' sinks PGA hopes

 

Jason Day
Jason Day plays from the sponsor's area at Quail Hollow's 18th hole today. He made an eight. Image: Getty

 

Jason Day needs a miracle in the final round of the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow after a calamitous quadruple bogey eight at the final hole of his third round sunk his chances.

Day, the former world No. 1, had fought doggedly on the back nine to haul himself back into contention.

But his 54th hole was a car crash; after a flared tee shot into the trees and an ill-advised attempt to hit a hard hook around a pine tree, he found himself in bushes near a sponsor's area right of the fairway, needing a penalty drop for an unplayable lie.

From there he wedged over the bushes in front of him, flubbed his fifth shot from deep rough so that it came up short of the green, and could not get up and down, taking an eight and a third-round 77, six-over par. His round included four birdies, four bogeys, a double bogey and a quadruple bogey.

It was an extraordinary finish to an extraordinary day for the Australian, who plummeted to a tie for 16th.

He had stood on the 18th tee just four shots behind his playing partner and the tournament leader, Kevin Kisner of the United States.

His decision to attack with his second shot on that hole from behind a tree -- his shot ricocheted off another tree further up in front of him -- will long be questioned by observers. A chip-out to the fairway and even a bogey five would have left him well-placed, since Kisner was in trouble himself, left of the green.

Day declined to explain it to media after his round but Nick Faldo, the multiple major champion and broadcaster, called it  "one of the worst decisions I’ve seen a professional golfer make''.

Day was on a rollercoaster from the start of his third round, battling swing problems and continually hooking his tee balls.

Ultimately he is even-par through three rounds, seven behind the outright leader Kisner, and almost certainly out of the picture.

Kisner is a shot ahead of Japan's Hideki Matsuyama and American Chris Stroud after a third-round 72 that has left quite a few players in the hunt. The big mover was Justin Thomas of the US, who is just two back after a 69, along with South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen.

Kisner was disappointed not to make the most of his day, but he was upbeat. "I'm in a dogfight tomorrow and I have to be prepared for that,'' he said.

Day hit it close at the par-four second for a birdie and was threatening Kisner, who began tied for the lead with Matsuyama, but the Queenslander quickly gave back shots at the third and the ninth, in the midst of a stretch where he continually drove the ball left. A double bogey at the 12th followed by a bogey at the par-three 13th, both times going left off the tee, left him eight back from Kisner and seemingly out of sorts.

But just when he appeared to have let his chance slip, Day surged again, making three consecutive birdies from the 14th, where he had to shed his shoe and sock to play from the hazard, to the 16th, his two peerless shots to the par-five 15th being a good sign. 

Then he turned south again, three-putting from long-range for bogey at the 17th before the madness of the 18th.

It was a tough day for most of the players in Charlotte. Open Championship winner Jordan Spieth is out of the reckoning after a third-round 71 in his first-ever attempt at completing a career Grand Slam. The American is 10 shots from the lead.

Of the other Australians, Adam Scott had a sour finish to his third round, hitting his tee shot into the brook that runs along the 18th and taking a double bogey. Scott also doubled the first hole with a four-putt, and signed for a three-over par 74.

Marc Leishman had an even-par 71 highlighted by an eagle at the par-five 10th hole.

 

 




 



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