LOUISVILLE, Ky. – During a third round that saw several players go low, including his playing partner and leader Rory McIlroy, Jason Day carded a 2-under 69 that proved just enough to stay in contention.
Day started the day in the final group with McIlroy and promptly pulled his first two drives left, his second one so far into the rough that he had to take his shoes off and walk across a muddy creek to find his ball. He punched out, pitched to 11 feet and drained the putt for what can only be described as the par save of the tournament.
“I was too lazy to actually get my shoes thrown over. I either hit it in my bare feet or put my shoes on and have to take my shoes off,” Day said. “I was like, we're going to be behind, way behind, so I may as well just hit it with no shoes on. It was a great four there, a lucky four.”
He settled down making two straight birdies on Nos. 4 and 5 before another drive left, this time on six, led to a bogey.
He played the back side even before before holing a 6-footer for a potentially momentum-shifting birdie at the last.
“If I didn't make birdie, I was four back. That's a very low number that I have to shoot tomorrow to try to beat him, whoever is close to him as well,” he said. “To be able to knock that 6-foot putt in there for birdie made things easier for me – just gave me a boost of confidence.”
Day, who has been dealing with a thumb injury for most of the season and hasn’t seriously contended since winning the WGC-Accenture Match Play in February, remains confident heading into the final round.
“Obviously I'm trying to get back on my feet right now. With all the frustrations, with injuries, withdrawing last week, I wasn't the greatest preparation coming to this event. We'll see how it goes. I'm still positive with how I'm playing. I feel like I'm playing pretty good golf. I shot 65 yesterday, so it's definitely out there.”