When play resumes at the rain-interrupted BMW Championship this morning, Jason Day will be 44 yards from holing out for a 59.
“If it goes in, it goes in,’’ Day said. “Right now, I’m just trying to play the best I can.’’
That’s pretty much what he’s doing.
On a day when players were holing out from all kinds of unlikely places, Day, who was in a zone all day, is 10-under with one hole to complete in his opening round, which was halted by a thunderstorm. He holds a four-shot lead on Daniel Berger, who shot 65, in this third leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
“I’m just trying to get as many birdies as I can. I don’t want to stop,’’ Day said after the thunderstorm pelted Conway Farms in Lake Forest. “I’m enjoying it so much that I wish I could play another 18 holes today.’’
The bar was set awfully high for the marquee threesome of Day, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler in the opening round of the BMW. These three 20-somethings had combined for 10 wins, including three majors and the Players, this season—and the world of golf was expecting more heroics.
They were so up to the task.
Day holed out a 77-yard sand shot for eagle on his 10th hole (No. 1). Not to be upstaged, Spieth made a hole-in-one on the next hole.
“[When] anyone holes out for a hole-in-one, it’s exciting,’’ Day said. “Even holing out for eagle is exciting. He yells out and then I’m running over there, high-fiving each other. It’s kind of neat to see that.’’
Spieth (5-under), who has been struggling lately, is tied for third, five shots behind Day.
“It was a very interesting day,’’ said Spieth, encouraged that his ace helped him go 5-under on his final eight holes after an even-par first nine. “This is the [eight] holes I needed to feel confident and comfortable and back on track.’’
Meanwhile, Day could not be more confident. He got off to a quick start, posting four early birdies to get to 4-under after six holes.
The 27-year-old Aussie, who won the PGA and the Barclay’s in back-to-back starts, added four birdies to his 10th-hole eagle before the thunderstorm stopped the group with one hole to play.
“It feels like a practice round, like it doesn’t really matter,’’ Day said. “And no matter what you do, even if you hit a bad shot, it’s going to be all right. This is the first time as a professional that I’ve just really enjoyed getting out and playing. I just love getting out there.’’
Considering that Day narrowly missed chipping in on his 16th and 17th holes, he could have gone lower, maybe even knocked down the 59 door that Jim Furyk opened dramatically in the second round of the BMW two years ago.
Furyk won’t be around the rest of this week. He aggravated a wrist injury and withdrew after playing six holes.
Day credits his imposing length off the tee to his new TaylorMade M1 driver, which he just put in his bag for Wednesday’s practice round.
“I’m hitting it longer than my R15, which is fantastic,’’ Day said. “It’s a little lighter. It’s just a perfect makeup right now. It’s kind of like that honeymoon stage of putting something new in the bag.’’
Those straight and long tee shots, combined with a rejuvenating week off last week, are making Day a dominant force.
“I’m walking through the locker room and people are going, `You’re playing off the ladies’ tees.’ It’s good to see that the guys are recognizing that I’m playing good. It’s a good round. I’m not thinking about it too much. I don’t want to get too high or too low.’’
–First-round play will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Friday. Second-round tee times have been moved up to 9 to 11 a.m. due to concerns about Friday afternoon thunderstorms.
–Due to weather conditions, officials have several parking lots to Six Flags Great America in Gurnee. The parking lots moved to Six Flags are: Complimentary public parking, BMW Owner parking, Hospitality (H Lot) parking and preferred parking.
–Day (4,680), Spieth (4,169) and Fowler (3,498) entered this tournament 1-2-3 in the FedEx Cup standings. The four-tournament playoff concludes next week at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.