Date: August 28, 2017
Author: Bernie McGuire, New York

Day finds patience, form

Jason Day has produced his best finish in three months for a share of sixth at the Northern Trust.

And in closing with rounds of 68-67 to reach five under, Day took a timely and important leap up the FedEx Cup standings from his opening 49th up to 29th – inside the critical top-30 mark that will make the season-ending Tour Championship next month.

At the other end of the scale, Geoff Ogilvy’s season came to an end when his two-over-par 72 left him three over in total and in a share of 40th, but only enough to climb to No.108 in the standings with only the top 100 to go around next week in Boston.

Rod Pampling was the only other Aussie to make the cut at the Glen Oaks Club, but his six-over total left him down one spot at No.71 in the rankings, meaning he’ll have to rise next week to be assured of reaching the third week of the playoffs.

Both Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith missed the cut but are safely through at Nos.20 and 44, respectively.

A gripping final round came down to a playoff when world No.1 Dustin Johnson ultimately overpowered Jordan Spieth with a towering drive over water to set up a simple wedge shot for birdie and victory in a playoff after both finished four clear of the pack at 13 under.

But for Day, who’s battled injury and personal issues for much of the season, the weekend move was music to his ears.

After his only bogey at the third, Day made four birdies in five holes from the ninth, including three in succession from the 11th, en route to his three-under-par 67.

It was Day's best finish since he was runner-up in May at the Byron Nelson, while the effort on New York's Long Island was only his fourth top-10 in 17 events this PGA Tour season.

“The last time I played as good as this was when I played the Byron as I scrambled my way around a little bit,” he said.

“I just got it around. This from kind of (having had) everything in a mix, from driver all the way down to the short game was pretty solid.

“I only had one bad nine and that was Friday. So once again, if I can not do the silly things out there and just try and not be so aggressive, because I find that I'm very aggressive out there when I do make mental errors.

“Today was a perfect example of I didn't get off to a great start, bogeyed the par-five (third) and wasn't quite mentally there. But I just kind of holed some good momentum putts going forward, and that got my day going.”

Day had described his Friday affair of going out in 40 and coming home in 31 as a “Jeykll and Hyde” showing, but he regrouped nicely at the weekend.

Remarkably, Day was four over for the outward nine for the week with just four birdies but also with four bogeys and two doubles.

In comparison, the Queenslander completed the inward half in nine under with 10 birdies and a lone bogey.

“What impressed me most about the week was my fightback on Friday afternoon because it was easily enough where you could just go, `Ohhh, it's happening again’ and just kind of coast in," he said.

“I think it was good to come back on Friday.”

Ogilvy will not play again until at least the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur in early October.

The Victorian had looked on the verge of qualifying for next week's Deutsche Bank Championship until his 72nd-hole double-bogey when he found the water with his drive, then managed a double only with a 9m bomb from the back of the green.

“That'me, I'm going home and no more golf for a while,” he said.

“I shot the lowest score I could shoot for 72 holes but it just was not low enough.”

Ogilvy will be vice-captain of the International team at the Presidents Cup in New Jersey at the end of next month.