JASON MUST CUT HORROR DAYS Consistency the key to taste victory at US PGA
JASON Day’s good vibes for the US PGA Championship will mean nothing unless he can buck this year’s trend of horror rounds scarring his biggest tournaments.
Inconsistency has been a curse for the former world No. 1, who senses his game has rounded a corner in time for tee off tonight ( 10.35pm Qld time) at Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina.
Being a contender for the Masters and British Open was derailed early by an erratic round while he never got hot at the US Open, where he missed the cut after shooting 79- 75.
His wayward driving is still a big part of the problem. He ranks a lowly 179th for driving accuracy on the PGA Tour but his length will be a big asset if he straightens it out here.
There are four par fives between holes five and 15 at Quail Hollow where eagle and birdie opportunities can ignite a great round.
Day broke through for his first major at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits from a fine 68- 67 launch. He started 68- 65 last year to finish second. What he’d give for either of those electric lift- offs this week.
“I’ve played really well over the past few years,” Day said of clicking at the PGA.
“For the most part, I feel the PGA courses are where you can attack but you have to respect at the same time and that suits my style of golf. If I can find more success with hitting fairways, there’s a good chance I can win this week.”
Noted bombers Rory McIl- roy ( twice), JB Holmes and Rickie Fowler have all savoured tournament success at Quail Hollow and the course does favour the long hitters.
Favourite McIlroy, who once shot 61 at Quail Hollow, is upfront: “There’s just certain courses that you can just see yourself shooting a score on.
“I guess, it’s always been a modern player’s golf course where if you can drive it a long way, there’s an advantage.”
The hype has all been around McIlroy’s stellar record at Quail Hollow and Jordan’s Spieth’s quest for the final leg of golf’s grand slam of majors at just 24.
Only two such powerful storylines would turn world No. 1 Dustin Johnson into bitpart billing, even though his length and rekindled touch suggest he’ll be right in this.
As ever, Spieth has the right mindset not to get obsessed by the goal or the noise around him.
“Getting three legs of it is much harder than getting the last leg, I think,” Spieth said.
“I believe that I’ll do it some day, so if it happens … then fantastic. And if it doesn’t, then it’s not going to be a big- time bummer because I know I have plenty of opportunities.”
McIlroy was delighted with the shake- up to the golf schedule which will move the PGA Championship from August to May from 2019 and reposition The Players Championship to March.
“From the players’ perspective, to now have a really big tournament every month from March and the FedExCup, most likely from the end of August, just has a better flow to it,” McIlroy said. QUAIL HOLLOW CLUB, NORTH CAROLINA TELEVISION: Fox Sports 3 ( Th- Fri 3- 11am, Sun- Mon 4- 11am) 2016 champion: AUSSIES: Jason Day above), Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Cam Smith, Stuart Deane, Scott Hend, Rod Pampling BETTING ( UBET) $ 8.50 Rory McIlroy, $ 10 Jordan Spieth , $ 13 Hideki Matsuyama, $ 14 Dustin Johnson, $ 17 Rickie Fowler, 26 Jason Day. Others: $ 41 Adam Scott, 51 Marc Leishman. KEY ROUND 1 TEE TIMES ( AEST) ) 10.25pm:p : Jordan Spieth,p , Sergiog Garcia, , Brooks Koepka. . 10: 35pm:p : Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson. 3: 05am ( Fri): Adam Scott,, Luke Donald, , Webb Simpson. 3.35am ( Fri): ): Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy
Jimmy Walker ( US) ( p p . $ $