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Day (70) middle of the Kapalua pack

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KAPALUA, Hawaii – The last time Jason Day completed a round on the PGA Tour was on Thursday at the Tour Championship, the day before he withdrew to end his season and start what turned out to be a three-month rehabilitation.

But with his back healed, or at the least healthy enough for action, the Australian returned to work this week at the SBS Tournament of Champions unsure what to expect from his game.

The answer came on Thursday with a 3-under 70 that left him in the middle of the pack at Kapalua, five strokes off the lead. Not great, but after beginning the week unsure what to expect from his game it was hardly a reason to be concerned.

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“Tee-to-green I thought I hit it pretty solid, I was 4 under there for a second before I bogeyed the last hole. Overall, I’m just going to try to tighten it up over the next three days,” Day said.

Day, who went to the practice range after his round, was more concerned with what he called silly mistakes, like three-putts at the second and 18th holes.

There was also a historical reason to be encouraged by his start at Kapalua. The Australian has began the week at the Tournament of Champions with rounds of 70 in his last two starts and finished tied for 10th and third, respectively.