Jason Day is playing in The American Express for the third straight year after previously never attending this event.
The Aussie is 2-for-2 making the cut in Palm Springs. He finished T-49th in 2022 during what should have been a better week if not for an uncharacteristic 3-over-par 75 at the Stadium course in round two.
Day posted 5-under 67 Thursday at Nicklaus, 5-under 67 Saturday at La Quinta, and an improved 70 Sunday at Stadium.
Over-par rounds are deadly at this event. Day avoided that last year en route to T-18th.
Even with a double-bogey, he posted 67 in round one at Nicklaus. Day followed with 64 at Stadium, 70 at La Quinta, and 67 at Stadium.
He was second in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting (4.928). He was also T-6th in greens in regulation (80.56%) and T-6th in sand saves (85.71%).
Day sees playing The American Express as a way to ease into things stateside before getting tested next week at Torrey Pines. He shared his thoughts last year in a transcription from ASAP Sports:
"I feel like it's a good opener for the start of the year," Day said. "Typically in the past I would, if I'm not in Hawaii I would go straight to Torrey. And, I mean, I felt like I was playing like a U.S. Open times a thousand when you go from doing nothing for a month to two months and you go straight to Torrey and you're playing."
Day was, in fact, in Hawaii this year. He played well there, too.
The 36-year-old took T-10th a couple weeks ago at The Sentry where he finished 24-under.
Day is having a renaissance in his game after injuries robbed him of some of his prime in the late 2010s/early 2020s. He won for the first time since 2018 last year at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Also in 2023, Day made it to the quarterfinals at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, had a couple top-10s at Designated Events, and took T-2nd at The Open Championship.
He gained strokes in every category last season on the PGA Tour except for Approach, which was a negligible -.020 per round.
Day was 39th in birdie average (4.03) and 16th in bogey avoidance (13.4%).