After nine holes of his first round at the Aussie PGA Championship, world No. 8 Jason Day appeared poised to challenge the Hyatt Regency course record of 62. A tough inward nine, however, left Day trailing Steven Bowditch and Choi Joon-woo by two in Coolum.
Going out in 31 with six birdies and a bogey, it seemed Day would blister the host course to the delight of his home fans. Three bogeys and just a lone birdie coming in prevented Day from challenging for the lead.
Day may well be again putting too much pressure on himself to succeed in Australia, as he said he did at Royal Melbourne last week. With a chance to win the Australian Open two weeks ago, Day faded to 74 in he final round to finish T-4.
The Oz crowd may be rooting particularly hard for Day to emerge victorious on Sunday. On Wednesday, Day said he would be reluctant to return for the Aussie Triple Crown in coming years – except as defending champion.
'It would be nice to win here in a field this strong and with the good world ranking points that go with it. Obviously it would get me back to play next year,' Day said, according to the Courier Mail. 'I would really like to win the Australian Open and the PGA but getting home really comes down to scheduling. You may well see me back here. I'm not guaranteeing that but I want to try and do my best to whenever I can.'