Jason Day has finished inside the top 10 in his last three starts and he continued his torrid stretch at the PGA Championship on Thursday.
For the first part of this PGA Tour season, Jason Day was literally fighting his back. A recurring injury kept the former world number one player from being like the Day of old. But on Thursday at the PGA Championship, Day seemed to be fully back.
The Australian shot a 5-under par 65 to hold the lead when he completed his round at TPC Harding Park on Thursday. And he got things started the right way.
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Day opened his round on the back nine and took advantage of the par-5 10th hole, hitting the green in two and making a three-footer for birdie. From there, he was steady, as he recorded pars on the next six holes.
Then, on the 17th hole, Day stuck his tee shot on the par-3 within two feet of the flag. He converted his birdie putt to move to 2-under par on his round. He would finish his first nine with a 2-under par 33.
As Day started his second nine, he stayed hot, recording a birdie on the first hole to get to 3-under on the day. After pars on the second and third holes, Day recorded his fourth birdie of the round on the fourth hole, the only other par five on the course. He rolled in a 13-foot putt to move to 4-under.
Four more pars would follow before Day finished his round in style. On his final hole, the ninth hole, he stuck his second shot about five feet from the hole. He then made the putt to close out his round of 5-under 65.
Now Day, the 2015 PGA Champion, finds himself in the lead at another major championship. That 2015 win was his only major title, but he does have 12 total wins on the PGA Tour.
However, Day has not won since 2018 and has especially struggled this season. While battling that back injury, Day has missed five cuts and has withdrawn once in 14 starts. He missed the cut at the Charles Schwab and the RBC Heritage, tied for 46th at the Travelers Championship and missed the cut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
However, after that event, something clicked and Day has been hot ever since. He tied for seventh at the Workday Charity Open, then tied for fourth at the Memorial Tournament. Last week, he tied for sixth at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
Thursday’s round was a solid 18 holes for Day, but there’s a lot of golf left to play. He needs to keep his hot streak going into the weekend if he is to contend for a second major title.