Jason Day will need a miracle to win the SBS Tournament of Champions in Hawaii tomorrow, but he appears to be shaking off the rust of a three-month break quite nicely.
The Australian, still world No. 1 despite taking 12 weeks off to tend a back injury, will begin the final round of the year's first US PGA Tour tournament at 10-under par, eight shots from the lead held by Justin Thomas of the United States.
Day made four birdies at Kapalua Resort's Plantation course on the front nine today to move toward contention, but back-to-back bogeys on the par-four 13th and 14th holes took the air from his sails. He did not make a putt of much substance all day, having already complained about the shape of his short game this week.
Thomas is the man to catch at 18-under, having carded a 67 today to lead by two from Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, the hottest player on the planet at the end of last year. Thomas' immense power was evident to all when he drove the shortish par-four 12th green and rolled in an eagle putt to take command of the tournament.
The other Australians are out of contention, with Rod Pampling (72 today) at seven-under overall, Greg Chalmers (70) six-under and Aaron Baddeley two-under with a round to play.