Jason Day and Marc Leishman have promised to come out guns blazing in the second round of the Tour Championship after falling back from the lead this morning in Atlanta.
The Australian contingent at the FedEx Cup finale seemed to cool down after hot campaigns at last week’s BMW Championship, where Leishman claimed a dominant victory and Day bagged fourth.
World No.6 Day fought hard against a sluggish start featuring two early bogeys, signing for a one-under-par 69 to be five shots adrift of leader Kyle Stanley.
Stanley’s 64 gave him a two-shot lead over fellow Americans Daniel Berger, Webb Simpson and US Open winner Brooks Koepka, as well as Englishman Paul Casey.
A shot back in a share of sixth sits FedEx leader Jordan Spieth and fellow top-five seeds Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm.
With 243m into the par-5 18th for his second shot from the rough, Day copped a cruel break, with his approach clipping a small tree branch and finding the water hazard en route to a closing bogey.
But with a sensational stretch of five birdies from six holes in the middle of his round, Day knows he could go low in the second round.
“I just have to be patient because I made a ton of birdies out there,” Day said.
“It’s all about hitting the fairways; you just make it so hard on yourself if your tee shots land in this thick bermuda rough.”
Leishman left himself in difficult spots, having not played the course since his most recent Tour Championship start in 2009.
“Now I’m back up to speed on where not to miss it and where the straight putts are on the greens, I think I’ve done enough work earlier in the week to shoot a low one,” Leishman said.
“The greens will be soft enough to go at pins. I just have to hit the fairways.”
Victorian Leishman has a strong chance of claiming the rich FedEx Cup. Leishman is in the top five seeds, meaning the 33-year-old is guaranteed the $US10 million bonus prize if he wins the Tour Championship.