STRIKING DISTANCE: Jason Day, of Australia, is three off the lead at the US PGA Championship.
STRIKING DISTANCE: Jason Day, of Australia, is three off the lead at the US PGA Championship. Charlie Riedel

Day keeps his cool to remain in the hunt

WORLD No.1 Jason Day, playing after just one day of practice at Baltusrol, endured the heat in the first round of the PGA Championship to be in the hunt for the final major of the year.

Day, the defending champion, hit 17 greens in regulation to shoot a two-under-par 68.

He said his time away from the course might have been a blessing.

"If you practise Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, you could be pretty tired with how hot it was,” the 28-year-old Australian told reporters.

"It was in the mid to high 90s (35 degrees Celsius). You can get pretty drained pretty quickly.”

Day carded a 68, three behind the sole leader, American Jimmy Walker, and tied with fellow Australians John Senden and Scott Hend.

Aaron Baddeley and Adam Scott were in a tie for 36th on even-par 70.

Marcus Fraser and Marc Leishman were one-over, Greg Chalmers two-over and Matt Jones four-over.

During his break Day caught a bug from his kids and then on Tuesday had to take his wife to hospital after she suffered an allergic reaction.

"I'm glad I took Monday, Tuesday off, even though I'm a little bit under the weather,” said Day, who sneezed his way through another hot day at Baltusrol.

Day's score could have been better as he was not able to capitalise on many of the chances he gave himself on the greens with a conservative approach that had him hitting many three woods off the tee rather than cutting loose with the driver.

He said that had as much to do with his strategy at the majors as with his relative unfamiliarity with the course.

"It's probably a little bit more conservative than I usually am, just only because in major championships ... you have got to be patient, take your opportunities when you can and work yourself up to the lead come Sunday.”


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