Date: July 19, 2015
Author: Bruce Matthews, St Andrews

A Tiger boost for Day

Jason Day's quest for a major was given a massive confidence boost by a playing partner who knows what it takes to triumph at golf's spiritual home.

Even amid the despair of another missed cut, Tiger Woods told Day he had the game to win the Open from three shots back heading into the third round of this weather-plagued championship.

"We're coming up 18 and I said it's the greatest walk in golf and he (Day) says, yeah, it's nice when you have an eight-shot lead too (when Woods won in 2000). I said, well, you just go ahead and go get that lead. He's playing well enough to do it,'' Woods said.

To achieve that, Day knows he must stay in the moment, no matter the horrendous conditions and mind-sapping delays.

He bounced back after dropping shots at the 12th and 13th after the short resumption of the second round before officials halted play for more than 10 hours waiting for a howling wind to abate to resume late in the afternoon.

Day's one-under 71 eased him to -7 and three shots off the pace set by American Dustin Johnson.

"There's 36 holes to be played and I want to win a major so bad I can't afford to let it frustrate me. I have to keep moving forward and taking it hole by hole and get this done,'' he said.

"It's over now and I've got round three and four to go. It felt like Sunday out there. It was a long day for everyone. Short sleep and I'm going to be able to sleep tonight which is fantastic.

"It was tough because we had to wait around yesterday and I went to sleep between 11 and 12 and woke up at 4.30 (am) and headed out to play one and a half holes which was kind of frustrating. But you can't let it get to you and then we hung around until 6 pm to get out there.

"I played ok, it was just really tough conditions, holed a lot of good clutch putts coming in and made a good birdie putt on 18.''

Players watched balls rolling crazily across greens before they had a chance to mark them and it contributed to Day's three putt bogey at the 13th.

"I was watching those guys putt and tried to gauge the speed. They seemed to hit it pretty close and I hit mine six foot past. You don't want to see the second putt because it was absolutely horrible. It was just tough with how strong the wind was to commit to a line,'' Day said.

"It (ball) was wobbling, you don't want it to move and you're trying to know when to go with the gusts of wind, there were so many different factors.

"We just had to go on, I tried to call it (be allowed to stop) on 12th tee and they said no, you've got to keep going. I understood they were trying to get Tom (Watson) to finish and I'm ok with that. But it was just a little unfortunate with how strong the wind was and I understand what the R and A is trying to do, but it's tough when the conditions are unplayable.

"It's just slow steps, but I think the scoring conditions are going to be a lot more accessible, more playable, so there's going to be a lot more guys moving up the leaderboard quicker.

"I feel like I'm a young, fit bloke and I can power on. We're here to play a major championship and have tough conditions which we're looking forward to as a challenge, but it's a little unfortunate with how unplayable the conditions were with the wind and on top of it a ton of rain, all those freak kinds of things.''

Day recalled how similar gale-like conditions for the afternoon players allowed him to sneak under the cut line at the NZ PGA as an aspiring young Aussie on the US secondary tour.

"I thought I missed the cut and I'm just laying in bed and it started blowing a hurricane outside and I made the cut on the number and finished sixth that week and it got me on pace to getting my card out here (PGA tour),'' he said.

Bruce Matthews is a Herald Sun sports writer