Date: August 12, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Day scythes through PGA field

Jason Day has surged into contention at the halfway point of the US PGA Championship in North Carolina.

The Australian, who had yesterday been three over through 13 holes of his first round at Quail Hollow before rattling home, continued the momentum to charge to outright third this morning.

Day almost landed a rare albatross on the par-five seventh hole and the resultant kick-in eagle kickstarted a run of five birdies in the next seven holes – either side of a weather delay – to enable a five-under-par round of 66 to race to six under in total.

With 25 players unable to complete their second round because of the delay, Day is likely to start his third round in the second-last group out, trailing joint leaders Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Kisner by just two strokes.

The Queenslander, 2015 US PGA Championship winner and runner-up last year, bogeyed the 11th immediately after play resumed.

But he recovered quickly, draining a 14m birdie bomb at the par-3 13th before backing up with another birdie on the 14th.

Racing fading daylight to finish his round, the 29-year-old had four straight pars to close out arguably his best day of a season marred by injury and family issues that have combined to have him ranked at world No.7.

Earlier, Adam Scott plummeted down to five over, right on the projected cut figure.

After starting his round in the mix at even par, the world No.17 slumped to a 76 to leave himself 13 shots off the pace and needing a miracle to contend.

Starting on the 10th hole, Scott’s round began with a double-bogey at the 11th and the 37-year-old dropped another two shots before the turn. After three more bogeys on his second nine, Scott rallied with two late birdies to salvage a 76 that will likely keep him around for the weekend.

Marc Leishman bounced back from his opening 75 with an even-par 71, while Scott Hend sits at six over through 14 holes and will need to pick up at least one shot in the closing stretch to stick around.

Rod Pampling struggled to a 79 to finish at 14 over while fellow Queenslander Cameron Smith (15 holes) has dropped to 13 over and Texas-based Queenslander Stuart Deane finished at 23 over.