First-round leader Ryan Moore is back in the picture at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, tied for the lead at 16 under with Brendon de Jonge in the third round at TPC Summerlin.
Moore is 3 under for his round, while de Jonge gave back a shot with a bogey at the par-4 10th hole to fall back to 2 under on the day. Jonas Blixt is two shots back at 14 under.
The round of the day so far belongs to Jason Day, who shot 64. He made a double bogey on his second hole but then rattled off 10 birdies in a 13-hole span from the fourth hole through the 16th to get to 12 under, which is currently good for a tie for fifth.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
For those players currently not inside the top 70 in FedExCup points, this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston represents a last chance to move up and secure a spot at the third stop in the Playoffs, next week’s BMW Championship.
Here’s a closer look at five players who I think could move from outside the top 70 in the FedExCup standings to inside the top 70 and advance to Crooked Stick. Fill out the form below and let me know if you agree or disagree with my picks.
Charl Schwartzel (No. 71): The biggest reason I think Schwartzel moves on? He’s just one spot outside the magic number. The South African doesn’t have much of a Playoffs history -- last year was his one and only year in it -- but he’s missed just one cut since April. If that trend continues, he should move up at least one spot and advance. Three of Schwartzel’s last four finishes have been in the top 25.
Roberto Castro (No. 80): The 27-year-old already busted the bubble once, tying for 24th at The Barclays to move up 20 spots in the FedExCup standings and advance to TPC Boston. Prior to that, the rookie had missed his last three cuts. But in the two starts before that, he finished seventh and 18th. More to like about Castro: He’s 19th in total driving and 13th in greens in regulation.
Charley Hoffman (No. 86): After missing his fourth consecutive cut last week, Hoffman fell from 67th to 86th. On the bright side, a return trip to TPC Boston should conjure up some good memories and hopefully good play. Hoffman won the Deutsche Bank Championship two years ago and earlier this year he finished second at the nearby Travelers Championship. Whatever the reason, the Californian seems to play well in the New England area.
Jason Day (No. 88): Like Castro, he tied for 24th at The Barclays to make it to the Deutsche Bank Championship. Last year, Day tied for third at TPC Boston. Of course he was also playing a lot better then, too. The Aussie has good history there, however, tying for second in 2010 and 19th the year before.
Jonas Blixt (No. 97): A rib injury derailed what was a successful rookie campaign for Bilxt, who was sidelined two months. Prior to getting hurt, Blixt had strung together three straight top 10s at the Wells Fargo Championship, HP Byron Nelson Championship and Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. He also tied for 13th at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans. He’ll need a similar performance to advance, but as one of the game’s best putters he certainly has a chance.
Jason Day became a first-time father this week, with wife Ellie giving birth to their son Dash James Day on Tuesday. That means no trip next week to play in the British Open.
The decision was not surprising for Day, a 24-year-old Australian who has said family is his top priority. His agent said Day's wife, Ellie, gave birth to Dash James Day at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday.
“I will return to golf when the time is right.”
Day is expected to take at least the rest of July off from competitive golf, perhaps returning at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, from Aug. 2-5 not far from his home.
Day is No. 21 in the world. A year ago, he was runner-up at the Masters and U.S. Open.
He would not be replaced at the British Open, which starts July 19, until the field is assured to go below 156 players. Day's decision Wednesday leaves 155 players, with two spots available this weekend.
Webb Simpson, whose wife is expecting their second child and is not likely to play, has not officially withdrawn.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas – Jason Day has played the par-4 18th hole at TPC Four Seasons Resort nine times in his PGA TOUR career.
He has found the water down the left side of the hole four times, including Thursday’s first round.
He vows never to find it again.
When Day won the HP Byron Nelson Championship in 2010, he found the water at the 18th in three of his four rounds. He stayed dry all of last year as he finished fifth in his title difference.
But he was back in the water on Thursday, and it cost him a double bogey. Day had been 5 under through 16 holes, but a bogey at 17 prior to the struggles at 18 left him at 2 under and a little steamed.
“Just two bad swings,” Day said. “That’s it. Little peeved right now. Trying not to say anything stupid.”
Still, Day knew once he cooled off, there were positives to be had about his round. Making just his eighth start of the year, his 68 was one of his better rounds of the season and it comes at a course that offers him good vibes … outside of its closing hole, of course.
“I think it’s very positive going into the next three days,” he said. “It’s not where I want to be, but it’s under par and headed in the right direction.”
The pairings have been unveiled for this week’s PGA TOUR Matchups Game on Facebook. You can check out the Matchups for the HP Byron Nelson Championship below, or on the PGA TOUR’s Facebook page.
Participants have until 6 a.m. ET Thursday to make their picks. Log on to the PGA TOUR Facebook page and click the Matchups link to make your picks for this week, or to sign up.
|Matt Kuchar vs. Keegan Bradley||Last week's champ vs. last year's champ|
|Phil Mickelson vs. Ernie Els||Two World Golf Hall of Famers at Byron's place|
|Adam Scott vs. Jason Day||Two Aussies, two former champs in this event|
|Jhonattan Vegas vs. Ryan Palmer||Both have strong Texas ties, and both are bombers|
|Jason Dufner vs. John Huh||Both scored their first career wins earlier in 2012|
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Jason Day, who tied for second at last year’s Masters, withdrew during Friday’s second round with an injury to his left foot.
Earlier in the week, Day limped off the driving range but said he was going to try to play through it.
The Australian shot a 4-over 76 in the opening round and played seven holes on Friday before pulling out. He was even par on the day when he withdrew.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The last player to win the Masters in his first appearance was Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. So when Jason Day arrived here last year, he asked any and every question he could think of to players who have been here before.
“If you can somehow get a practice round with them, that’s would probably be the best thing you can do,” Day said Monday. “I remember talking to Nick Faldo before I played the Masters last year and asking advice of him and then walking the course with some other players and just asking where they would hit shots on certain holes.”
It certainly helped. Day tied for the lowest score in Masters history with a 64 in the second round before finishing in a tie for second.
Day said he was so focused last year, especially being in contention all week, he could barely recall any of his rounds.
But he added there’s a danger in over-preparation, too.
“If you treat it like it’s the only tournament that matters, you’re putting so much pressure on your shoulders to a point where if you don’t perform, then you get down on yourself and you miss the cut and go home early,” Day said. “I just have to get in and just have the same preparation as I always do and just treat it like a normal tournament.”
For Webb Simpson, who is making his Masters debut this week, that actually might not be so difficult because he’s played here before.
Simpson first played Augusta National as a 12-year-old. “My eyes were pretty wide the whole day,” he said.
Especially when he got to the 18th hole.
The Scotty Cameron touring putters had just come out and Simpson spotted one in the golf shop at Augusta National. Simpson’s father told him if he birdied the final hole, he’d get him the putter.
Simpson hit driver, 3-wood to about 4 feet.
“The pin is front left, where it is on Sunday,” Simpson recalled. “I missed it.”
Simpson’s dad felt bad and bought him the putter anyway. He shot 80 that day and eight years later was eight shots better with an even-par 72.
That’s not the only experience Simpson has working for him, however. Simpson’s caddie, Paul Tesori, has caddied in 11 Masters tournaments.
Like most everything around here, passing down knowledge is tradition. The biggest piece of advice Tesori has given him so far? Where he can and can’t miss.
“It’s so hard to be precise on every hole,” said Simpson, who is playing in just his fourth career major. He tied for 14th at last year’s U.S. Open and 16th at the British Open before missing the cut at the PGA Championship.
“There are certain holes where you cannot get it up-and-down and you just have to know where you can chip the ball close and hopefully get it up-and-down for pars. I think that’s the most important thing, just knowing which pins to get after it and where to miss it.”
After 10 trips here, including a tie for second with Day a year ago, Adam Scott certainly knows where to hit it and where not to. Still, knowledge only goes so far.
“You can have all the knowledge you want, but you still have to execute good shots,” said Scott, who finished ninth in his first appearance here. “But I’ve definitely developed a sense of comfort over the years.”
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy columnist
The Fantasy Mailbag was surprisingly light this week. So, we have an opportunity to take a moment to focus on a guy that's currently flying under the radar, not that it's unfamiliar territory for the Aussie.
Hi Rob. I am in first place in my league (salary cap; points based on money won). Do you have any information regarding Jason Day? His schedule on the PGA TOUR has been down from previous years. Is he battling an injury? -- Todd
Indeed, the 24-year-old started his U.S.-based play later this year than during any of his previous four since his rookie season of 2008. But it's not due to an injury.
Day started 2012 with two tournaments on the Desert Swing on the European Tour. After missing the cut in Abu Dhabi, he shared runner-up honors at the Qatar Masters. It's the first time he's ever played that circuit in the month of January.
Two weeks later, he placed T62 at the Northern Trust Open, his first of four starts in a five-week stretch on the PGA TOUR. He'll have had two weeks to recharge before returning at next week's Masters, where he shared second place in his debut last year.
Since his forgettable finish at Riviera in February, Day's 1-1 record at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and pair of T20s in stroke-play starts have done little to ease the concern of gamers with higher expectations like Todd, but there is no reason to panic.
Looking back at his schedule over the years, yes, he had sinus surgery in the last quarter of 2010, but he took the last three months of 2009 off, too, choosing to get married, honeymoon and rest. He played out of the conditional status category on the PGA TOUR in 2009. That limited him to 18 starts, but he had no trouble in securing fully exempt status for 2010. And he hasn't looked back.
That was a valuable turning point for gamers. However, upstarts like Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Michael Sim were commanding our attention while Day was on his sabbatical. Moreover, he's reduced his playing time to 24 and 21 starts the last two years, respectively. We knew this entering 2012, and he isn't deviating.
Day's wife Ellie is due to give birth to the couple's first child in July. Jason has already confirmed that golf will not prevent him from being with Ellie for the birth, no matter when it is.
The moral of the story is that you can plan accordingly for his potential DNP at the British Open; otherwise, it's full steam ahead as usual for one of the most efficient touring pros in the world.