Wednesday 13 December 2017

Day sparkles before storm clouds halt birdie barrage

Jason Day is on course for a 61
Jason Day is on course for a 61

William S Callahan

Mother Nature was a spoilsport as Jason Day stood on the brink of an opening 61 in the $8.25 million BMW Championship, the third of the FedEx Cup Playoffs in Conway Farms, Chicago last night.

The players were taken off the course at 10.20pm Irish time due to the threat of lightning, but from a golf point of view, the sparks were flying with some tremendously exciting play.

Day, winner of the US PGA title and The Barclays in recent weeks, continued his phenomenal run of form as he charged up the leaderboard.

He was at ten-under par after 17 holes with his golf ball in light rough just off the fairway of the ninth hole, his 18th.

Day's magnificent run included an eagle two on the first hole, his 10th, when he holed a 20-yard bunker shot.

Jordan Spieth scored an ace on the 196-yard, par-3 second hole, using a 7-iron. It was his second ace on Tour. His first was in the 2013 Puerto Rico Open.

If that wasn't enough, he birdied the next two holes, pitching in from 80 yards at the third and holing out from four feet on the fourth.

Spieth was on five-under par when the hooter sounded to call a halt to proceedings.


Zach Johnson and Pat Perez each had an eagle two on the 15th, both men holing out from a greenside bunker.

Rory McIlroy was three-under through 12 holes, and faced a six-foot birdie putt on the fourth hole, his 13th, when play stopped.

Best of the completed rounds came from Daniel Berger with a six-under-par 65.

Berger was the player beaten in a play-off for the Honda Classic title by Pádraig Harrington last March.

On the European Tour, meanwhile, Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts shot a flawless nine-under-par 63 to lead the Italian Open by two shots at Club Golf Milano.

Paul McGinley rolled back the years to score 68, as did another Dubliner, Peter Lawrie. Harrington and Darren Clarke each shot a two-under-par 70, while Damien McGrane finished level-par.

Tour rookie Gavin Moynihan celebrated his 21st birthday and was on 73, one-over, along with Simon Thornton and Kevin Phelan.

Meanwhile, the Solheim Cup starts today in St Leon-Rot, Heidelberg, Germany.

The Europeans, captained by Carin Koch, are seeking a third win in a row over Julie Inkster's USA.

Italian Open,

Live, Sky Sports 4 (red button) 10.30am

Solheim Cup,

Live, Sky Sports 4, 6.30am

BMW Championship,

Live, Sky Sports 4, 8.0pm

Irish Independent

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