The wind was down. The greens were soft. But Jason Day was up—and as tough as nails.
“He just does what he wants,’’ said George McNeill, who has shot 67-65 in the first two rounds of the BMW Championship—and is tied for sixth, eight shots out of the lead.
Day continued to be a dominant force at Conway Farms in Lake Forest on Friday, adding a 63 to his opening-round 61.
That puts him 18-under. His 124 is tied for the lowest 36-hole score in a PGA Tour event with Pat Perez and David Toms.
“I should have got to 19,’’ Day said, gently lamenting his lone second-round bogey. “It’s a good stat to have, but it’s only 36 holes. I would like to have the scoring record for 72 holes.’’
Don’t bet against that. Six eagles were registered on the par-5 18th hole by the top 18 players on the leaderboad, and only two of them failed to make at least birdie.
Day will tee off at 12:01 p.m. on Saturday, with Brendon Todd and rookie Daniel Berger, who are five shots off the lead.
After shooting 63 on Friday, Todd figured he needed a good round after his wife was forced to sit in their hotel bar because he had neglected to tell the hotel to let her into their room when she got to town.
“Because I played well, I probably got off the hook,’’ Todd said. “She said, `You might have to carry me up from the bar.’ ’’
Berger also is accentuating the positive.
“The funnest part about playing with Jason is the crowds,’’ Berger said. “You’ve got thousands of people watching you.’’
Of course, they’ll mainly be watching to see how low Day can go.
“It’s hard to back up a big round and shoot a low one again,’’ Day said after doing exactly that. “Fortunately for us, we had calmer conditions today. The greens and fairways were very receptive. I don’t know how else to explain the way I’ve been playing.’’
After saying that, Day offered insight into why he’s been on a tear that has seen him go 97-under par in his last 26 tour rounds, with 63 or lower in four of his last eight rounds.
“I feel very free, I feel like there’s no stress,’’ said the winner of the PGA and Barclay’s, who’s going after his third win in four starts. “There’s obviously stress, but I’m enjoying it. It’s good pressure, and I’m loving it. But there is 36 holes left. We’re looking to a pretty strong wind tomorrow, so I’ve got to be very patient.’’
In his six previous 36-hole tour leads, Day has never gone on to win. But those all came before the current hot streak that has people asking him about his stated goal of being as dominant as Tiger Woods once was.
“That would be great,’’ he said. “But I’m just trying to get the ball in the hole. I’ve been very happy with how things are going. But [Woods] has won 79 times and I’ve only won six, so it’s hard to say I’ve been dominating.’’
Jordan Spieth, who was answering the Tiger questions not so long ago, is tied for fourth, seven shots off the lead.
“I feel like I should be paying to watch some of this,’’ Spieth said playing the first two rounds with his friend Day. “The way [I] finished gave me a bit of an outside chance. But what he’s doing is something I haven’t witnessed in my life. If he continues this pace, he won’t be caught.’’
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The field will tee off in threesomes from the first and 10th tees from 10 a.m. to 12:01 p.m. on Saturday due to the continuing rain threat.
The parking changes will remain in place on Saturday and Sunday. Shifting to Six Flags Great America in Gurnee are four lots: Public, BMW Owner, H Lot (hospitality) and preferred parking.