Aussies in hunt

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT / CLASSIFIEDS -

JA­SON Day and Adam Scott put them­selves well in the mix on Quail Hol­low’s treach­er­ous new greens dur­ing the first round of the US PGA Cham­pi­onship in North Carolina.

Day and Scott were just three and four shots off the lead re­spec­tively in Aus­tralia’s most promis­ing start to a major this year.

But they were among the big names per­plexed with the re- grassed and re­shaped putting sur­faces rolled out for the course’s first major cham­pi­onship host­ing.

Den­mark’s Thor­b­jorn Ole­sen and Amer­i­can Kevin Kis­ner took full ad­van­tage with four- un­der- par 67s to top the leader­board.

US Open cham­pion Brooks Koepka ( 68) and four oth­ers share third at three- un­der, with world No. 10 Rickie Fowler, Paul Casey and Pa­trick Reed ( 69) head­lin­ing a seven- way tie for eighth a shot back.

With two birdies and an ea­gle in his last four holes, Day clawed his way back to one- un­der and a tie for 15th along­side world No. 1 Dustin John­son and world No. 2 Hideki Mat­suyama.

Scott was one stroke fur­ther adrift af­ter an even- par 71.

On a tough day, with four- un­der the worst score rel­a­tive to par to lead an open­ing round at the PGA since 2008, nei­ther grand slam- chasing world No. 2 Jor­dan Spi­eth or No. 4 Rory McIl­roy made putts longer than six feet.

World No. 7 Day’s con­fu­sion with the putting sur­faces saw him plum­met down the leader­board early with three dropped shots in 13 holes be­fore his gutsy fight­back.

“Fin­ish­ing the way I did, over­all I’m pretty happy with the first round’s play I just have to slowly build on that,” Day said. “From tee to green, ( the changes) are fine and the fair­ways are re­ally re­cep­tive. But once you get on the greens, it’s a dif­fer­ent beast.”

Scott was next best of the Aus­tralians in equal 25th af­ter card­ing a 71.

Af­ter a solid ball- strik­ing dis­play and rank­ing 12th for putts made on greens reached in reg­u­la­tion, Scott was con­fi­dent of climb­ing up the leader­board on day two.

“I played re­ally solid tee to green, but ... ( the greens) are just bru­tal; your good shots end up with im­pos­si­ble putts,” he said.

Townsville na­tive Scott Hend was one- over af­ter shoot­ing a 72 to share 33rd along­side Bri­tish Open cham­pion Spi­eth and two- time US PGA Cham­pi­onship win­ner McIl­roy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.