Date: November 22, 2013
Author: Martin Blake / Royal Melbourne

Day well in the hunt at World Cup

Jason Day will have a long-awaited reunion with his mother Dening when he wakes tomorrow, a moment made all the more emotional by the fact that his grandmother and various members of her family perished in the typhoon in the Phillipines recently. Then the Australian will don his golf gear and set out after his biggest win as a professional. Day, 26, carded a one-under-par 70 today in conditions that confounded many of the players at the World Cup of golf at Royal Melbourne, with flint-hard greens that some said were running at an astonishing 15 on the stimpmeter. At four-under-par through two rounds he is tied-third in the individual section of the tournament, within striking distance of the lead held by Thomas Bjorn of Denmark. It was a day when patience was required, and Day lipped out on the 12th, 13th and 17th holes, a severe test of his mettle. “I had three lip-outs, pretty harsh ones but I am definitely happy with shooting one-under today because being out here at Royal Melbourne and how hard and fast the greens are, it could definitely go south pretty quick,&apos&apos he said later. “It&aposs grinding it out in the middle of my round and finishing strong, which is nice.&apos&apos It was the calming influence of caddie and coach/mentor Col Swatton that kept him from imploding. “This course can make you want to snap your clubs over your knees but it&aposs really hard to control that frustration sometimes,&apos&apos he said. “I listed to Col. I&aposm glad he was there. That happened and I&aposm like &aposthat&aposs ok, even though it was a great putt, it lipped out. It would have been a good bounce-back birdie&apos. Then I went to the next hole and lipped out again, then 17. It can be frustrating out there sometimes but this is the kind of course that will frustrate you and you make mental errors. You can&apost let that happen. You can&apost let the course beat you up.&apos&apos The Australian pair are third behind the US and Denmark in the teams section after Adam Scott rallied with a fine, three-under-par 68. Scott might well have gone lower; in attacking the short par-four 11th hole with a driver, he found the greenside bunker and took two to extract himself. A double bogey stole the wind from his sails before two birdies on the back nine kept him in the middle of the field, tied-21st at one-over par through two rounds. As for the Ohio-based Day, his mother and family are flying into Melbourne at 11.30 tonight. “I don&apost know who booked that flight; it&aposs a terrible time to fly in. I&aposll be asleep but I&aposm definitely looking forward to waking up and having breakfast with my mum and my sisters. I haven&apost seen my family for a year, it&aposs going to be really enjoyable that first time I see her.&apos&apos The Queenslander has made a big name for himself but has only won once on the PGA Tour of the United States. Perhaps, in the darkest of times, this is his moment. LEADING SCORES -8 Thomas Bjorn (Denmark) -7 Kevin Streelman (US) -4 Jason Day (Aust), Ricardo Santos (Portugal) -3 Stuart Manley (Wales), Hideto Tanihara (Japan), Matt Kuchar (US), Martin Laird (Scotland). TEAMS -10 USA -7 Denmark -3 Australia, Japan