07 Nov 2020 | Professional golf |

Day, Scott track well for Masters

by Martin Blake

Jason Day Houston image
Jason Day watches his shot on the eighth at Houston today. Photo: Getty

Jason Day admits he is struggling with swing changes, but the Australian is in contention along with Adam Scott at the Houston Open on the PGA Tour.

Day, who has been riddled with injuries especially to his back, said today he was still bedding down changes meant to protect his back that he has put in place since splitting with longtime coach and mentor Col Swatton earlier this year.

But he shot a 68 on the difficult Memorial Park course today to move into second place at five under par, just two behind the lead held by Sam Burns of the United States. Less than a week out from the Masters, where he has played so well previously, they are great signs for Day. "It's been very inconsistent obviously because I'm trying to change my swing a little bit just to try and help the back out," he said. "I guess I'm stuck in between patterns right now, what I want to feel, my body just won't handle it and sometimes it just compensates elsewhere. That's why it happened to my neck at CJ (Cup, where he had to withdraw in the final round). "I've got to look at it this way, I've just got to be very smart about certain shots that I want to try and hit because if I do it over and over again, sooner or later something goes wrong and that's why you see a little bit of inconsistency there. "I've just got to be patient with it and just try to work through it and hopefully I'll get to where I want to see it, how I see it and how I want to hit it and the consistency will come back in the game." Scott is tied-ninth at three under par after a 69 today on a course he described later as "relentless". He is returning to tournament golf after a month off since he withdrew from the Zozo Championship because of a positive Covid-19 test, and he spent almost a fortnight in Los Angeles in quarantine recovering. But he has quickly picked up his early-season form which included a victory in LA, and he said the demanding nature of the course in Houston was ideal preparation for Augusta National next week. "I think this course, because it is quite relentless as far as it's long and it's a bit of a brute, is testing the patience and the focus and that's always tested at a major championship," he said. "There's nothing much resembling Augusta National here, they're very different kinds of golf courses, but that long day out on the course where you're required to hit a lot of tough shots is similar and that's testing the mental side of it very much."

Houston Open scoring

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