18 Jul 2020 | Professional golf |
Day toughs it out at Muirfield Village
by Martin Blake
A day after he was on the verge of pulling out of the Memorial Tournament, Jason Day has conjured a brilliant 66 to haul himself back into contention at his ‘home’ course.
According to the PGA Tour’s Ben Everill, Day considered withdrawing early on Thursday during his opening-round 73 at Muirfield Village.
Then he made two early bogeys in his second round today to be three-over par and in danger of missing the cut. Worse still, he was moving gingerly especially when picking his ball out of the hole.
But Day’s putter is running hot suddenly; he rolled in eight birdies in his final 15 holes today to soar on to the leaderboard at five-under par overall.
The Australian, who lives nearby with his American wife Ellie and their children, is four shots from the lead held by Americans Tony Finau and Ryan Palmer.
It was an astonishing performance by Day, who has been troubled by back pain for several years now. He is three full shots ahead of the field in putting this week so far, after he returned to a semblance of form with his top-10 finish at the Workday Charity Open.
A great two-putt from long range at the final hole gave him the equal-low round of the day at Jack Nicklaus' course.
The 32-year-old has seen his world ranking dip to a 10-year low recently, and sits at No. 58 this week. His last win on tour was more than two years ago.
Meanwhile former world No. 1 Tiger Woods scraped into the weekend on the cut-line after a second-round 76 during which he was again troubled by back pain. Woods said his issues started in the warm-up this morning, and he could not even guarantee that he would play tomorrow.
“Ageing is not fun,’’ he said. “Early on in my career I thought it was fantastic because I was getting better and better and better, and now I'm just trying to hold on.”
Of the other Australians in the field, Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman also made the cut.
On the EUROPEAN TOUR, Deyen Lawson is tied-24th through three rounds of the Austrian Open after rounds of 63-69-72.
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