AUGUSTA, Ga. – World No. 1 Jason Day broke par for the first time this week at the Masters and vaulted into a tie for fifth place. When he finished his round he was six shots behind leader Jordan Spieth. After Spieth’s bogey, double-bogey finish, Day is only three shots off the lead.
Day trudged along around even par through eight holes at Augusta National but got his round to 2 under after a long birdie on the 14th hole. Even though he shot only even par on the back nine it was far better than he played that same stretch of holes over the first two days. He shot 1-under 71.
When Day made birdie on the 14th, Spieth was struggling some and it looked like Day would make up a lot of ground on the lead by day’s end.
That all changed. Twice.
Spieth, of course, remained steady and made birdies on 12, 14 and 15 to gain a seemingly insurmountable lead until his closing two-hole stretch let Day and a host of others back into the tournament.
“I just kept on saying to myself, ‘just keep grinding out, just keep trying to get your birdies when you can, minimize mistakes and just be patient with yourself,’” Day said. “Today I was very happy with it.”
Day has been as steady as anyone, shooting 72-73-71. With a little more pep in his step than he had when his round ended, Day knows he’s in for a wild ride.
“We’ll see how it goes,” Day said. “I mean, Sundays at Augusta is a different story. It’s always fun to play Sunday in contention.”