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Day grinds in return, shoots 74 at Masters

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – A week ago, Jason Day wasn’t sure he’d play in the Masters. After admitting that he didn’t prepare for this week as well as he would’ve liked, Day shot an opening-round 74.

Day withdrew from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play two weeks ago to be with his ailing mother. His immediate status at the time was unclear.

But he arrived at Augusta National over the weekend and declared that he would play even though he knew he wouldn’t be at his absolute best.

Masters Tournament: Scores | Live blog: Day 1 | Full coverage

On Thursday, Day’s 2-over round in swirling winds was still one of the better scores of the day. His only blemish on the first nine was bogey on the third hole.

A double bogey on the 11th set him back but he rebounded with consecutive birdies on Nos. 15 and 16.

“That’s the only real thing you can do is just try and grind and have more birdies than bogeys,” Day said. “There’s really nothing you can do. But I think I’m playing some decent golf. I’ve just got to get myself a little bit closer to the hole.”