The Steve Williams factor is already making a difference to Jason Day.
Day, who looked in grave danger of missing the cut at one stage of his second US Open round today, turned to his newly hired caddie in the crisis and steered into the safe waters of weekend action at Pebble Beach.
The Queenslander, who began his second round at one over on the 10th tee, found himself four over for his round through eight wayward holes until he tuned in to Williams’ sage advice.
“Absolutely, things could have gone south,” said Day who said that he could “100 per cent” feel chemistry building with the Kiwi after just two tournament rounds.
“I just said to him (after the round), if I had someone else on the bag, I don’t think I would have made the cut. It’s just how positive he is … he reinforced the good shots and even my putts, when they missed, he said they weren’t too far away.
“Wherever he’s telling me to hit it, I’m trying to do my best job to hit it in that spot. He’s won here a few times, so I’m trying to listen and stay disciplined on what’s he saying.
“When I did that, I took my opportunities on the (closing nine) – I’ve just gotta somehow keep doing that.”
Day made three birdies to move to safety, even giving himself the luxury of a closing bogey before rushing to the practice range to sort out his wayward driver.
“I haven’t driven it great this week, but showing a little bit of grit in the later part of my round was nice,” he said.
“It will get harder and harder over the weekend, so I’ve just got to gradually claw my way back into it and I’ve got a good guy on the bag who’s going to help me along the way.
“I’m just hoping to get myself back into contention tomorrow and right back in it on Sunday.”
Fellow Aussie Marc Leishman also finished at one over after a flat 74 today.
Leishman could find just one birdie in drab conditions and will similarly look to jump on the birdie bus early tomorrow to forge his way back into the tournament.