Date: November 11, 2011
Author: John Greco, Sportal

Day impressed by Tiger

He has dreamed about playing alongside his hero Tiger Woods ever since he was a young boy and for Australian young gun Jason Day, the opportunity to do so at the Emirates Australian Open didn&apost disappoint. Day has been grouped with Woods over the opening two rounds and is right on his tail at the top of the leaderboard heading into the weekend. The world no.7 fired a four under 68 on Friday to sit in third place at seven under, just two shots behind clubhouse leader Woods, with Lakes member Peter O&aposMalley sandwiched in between at minus eight. “It was fun,” Day enthused. “Tiger is playing great. He is hitting the ball very, very solid and I had a lot of fun.” “He is a great guy. He is playing great. He has a lot of momentum going into the next two days” “It was a lot of fun to play with my hero. I have been dreaming about playing with Tiger for a long, long time.” “I finally got the chance and I am glad I played well too. Growing up, he was my idol.” “I had posters of his swing on my wall. I read books about him. He changed my life because I worked harder after I read his book.” Asked what the pair spoke about, Day revealed: “A little bit about Australia, a bit about Japan. He loves to go to Japan and to come down to Australia.” “And obviously, working out and all the normal golf stuff and practising and few other things.” “We want to talk but we are out there to do a job. We need to get the ball in with the least amount of strokes.” Woods, who had only ever seen Day hitting on the practice range before being grouped together in Sydney, admitted he was impressed with the young Aussie&aposs game. “Man, he hits it solid. He&aposs got some serious speed too,” Woods said. “What people don&apost realise is how good a putter he is. He rolls it great.” “He has a wonderful stroke. He lets the blade go.” “It was tough conditions the last couple of days and he handled them well. He was very patient out there.” When asked about his second round, which included five birdies and just the one blemish on the way home, Day said: “I started off great. I think I hit nine greens in a row on the front nine.” “I got to the back nine and hit three drives to the right. That halted my momentum.” “I made a bogey on two but I made two birdies on the back nine.” “My putting has been very streaky over the last two days. It has not been the best.” “I think once the greens get a little firmer and faster over the next few days, hopefully my putting will come together.” And if he does manage to drain a few more putts in his third round on there is every chance Day may go head-to-head with Woods for the Stonehaven Cup in the final group on Sunday afternoon. “That would be fun. To experience it, just to see what he does on Sunday, although I m sure nothing really changes from Thursday to Sunday for him,” Day, who turns 24 on Saturday, said of a potential final-round battle with the American. “To see what he goes through out there would be a good experience for me and the future.” “It would be a good battle, I think. I feel like I am hitting it pretty well. If I can tighten up the putting a bit I think I might give him a good run for his money.”