MARANA, Ariz. – Jason Day hadn’t played match play in five years, not since he was an 18-year-old amateur.
The nuances of the man-to-man game came back quickly in his 3-and-2 victory against Kyung-tae Kim.
Day made a statement at the first hole, when he wouldn’t concede Kim an 18-inch putt, forcing him to putt out to halve the hole.
“Just to say, I’m not going to give you any of those,” Day said. “Just to know it’s going to be a hard match to play. There’s no nice guys out here. We’re friends, but it’s me versus the guy I’m playing. At the end I’m going to shake hands.”
Day said he used another strategy to apply pressure.
“I made the choice to walk in front of him all the time, to be in front of him, just to show him that I was there, show him that I’m still around, instead of walking behind him and him being in front. So, it was a bit of a tactic to say, `I’m still here. I’m still going to fight, and I’m going to try and win as good as I could.’”
Day will meet Paul Casey in the second round.