After a taxing week at Augusta National, Jason Day described his energy level as "kind of low" following the first round of the RBC Heritage. But even at less than full strength, the Aussie views this week's event as a great opportunity to pad his lead atop the world rankings.
Day nearly lost the top spot last week at the Masters, but when Jordan Spieth coughed up a five-shot lead it allowed Day to remain No. 1. It's a perch that he briefly held last year and regained last month after back-to-back victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the WGC-Dell Match Play.
Day is an RBC ambassador, and he is the first world No. 1 to tee it up at Harbour Town Golf Links since Luke Donald in 2012. He opened with a 4-under 67, grabbing a share of the lead before dropping his only shot of the day on No. 18 after his approach plugged in the face of a greenside bunker.
He sits one shot off the lead held by Donald and Branden Grace with a keen eye kept on the OWGR standings.
"I'm at this point for a reason in the world rankings, and I've got to try and extend that gap," Day said. "That's my main focus right now, is to keep up the good play."
Day's current point average is 12.5187, while Spieth sits at 11.7831 and Rory McIlroy remains in third at 9.4091. It's a much larger lead than Day held last fall after wins at the PGA Championship and BMW Championship, but one that he hopes to increase this week with many big names, including Spieth and McIlroy, taking the week off.
"If I can do that, hopefully that will give me more of a gap between myself and Jordan, and Rory as well," he said. "I get a week off next week, so I can just kind of relax. But right now I'm just in game mode. I've got to try and do the best I can to try and win this tournament."