Date: May 14, 2016
Author: Martin Blake

Day extends Sawgrass lead to 3




Jason Day not only held but extended his lead in The Players at TPC Sawgrass today despite a weather interruption.

Still making everything with his putter, Day was five-under through 14 holes of his second round when play was suspended for the day because of darkness, three shots clear of the field at 14-under.

He had led by two shots through the first round after his equal course record of 63 on Thursday.

The world No. 1 Australian's closest challenger is Ireland's Shane Lowry at 11-under after a 68 today.

Day momentarily lost the lead when the earlier players like Jonas Blixt (10-under) raced around the stadium course, but he was relentless again today, the highlight being a remarkable 12-metre downhill, snaking birdie putt at the par-three 13th hole that dived into the hole, much to his amusement.

It was the moment that summed up the way he has played this week. He has still not made a bogey in 32 holes of golf on one of the most penal of golf courses. "I think if I can get on the greens I feel like I'm rolling the ball well enough that I can pretty much make anything,'' he said. "That's the way I feel right now.''

Day is playing a little like he did when he made his first run to No. 1 in the world late last year, around the time he won the US PGA Championship. "I feel really good about my game,'' he said. "But I think the biggest thing for me is to try and focus on just trying to extend the lead. I'm not saying I've got a boatload of confidence. I feel  good about how I'm going about my game, but I've got to understand that this is like a major and especially with 16, 17 and 18 anything can happen there. I've got to make sure I'm switched on when I come through that stretch.''

Good news for Australia also came in the Friday form of Adam Scott, who made a calamitous quadruple bogey eight at the 18th hole that ruined his first round. Scott had seven birdies and no bogeys in a brilliant second-round 65 today which put him back into the pack, tied-22nd at six-under overall. None of the other Australians in the field has made an impression.

Rory McIlroy (64) also made a strong run in the second round in receptive conditions.