Day finishes strong to share Barclays lead

Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:36pm EDT
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PARAMUS New Jersey (Reuters) - Jason Day, proud of how he handled his nerves, rebounded from a double-bogey at the 13th with three birdies in the last four holes to grab a share of the lead after the third round of The Barclays on Saturday.

The Australian signed off with a 10-foot birdie putt at the last to card a three-under 68 at Ridgewood Country Club, finishing level with American Jim Furyk (69) at nine-under 204 in the opener of the PGA Tour's four-event FedExCup playoffs.

"I am very proud of how I handled my nerves today," the 26-year-old Day, who lost a ball in thick rough after trying to lay up on the par-five 13th, told CBS Sports.

"With the double-bogey on the par-five, I could have lost it but I kind of stuck in there and played some good golf coming in."

Hunter Mahan (68) was alone in third at eight under, a stroke in front of seven players who included fellow Americans Matt Kuchar (68) and Cameron Tringale (72), the latter having been tied for the second-round lead with Australian Adam Scott.

World number two Scott endured a frustrating day on the challenging A.W. Tillinghast layout where danger was ever present because of lush rough and slick greens, struggling to a 75 to slide five shots of the pace.

Top-ranked Rory McIlroy, on a sizzling three-tournament winning streak that included major triumphs at the British Open and PGA Championship, was level with Scott at four under after carding a 70.

Day, who clinched his second PGA Tour victory at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in late February, was delighted to be in contention for another title after making a mess of both par-fives after the turn.

"I got off to a great start and then the back nine happened and the par-fives happened," said the world number nine, who was one of seven players who held at least a share of the lead during the third round.   Continued...

Aug 22, 2014; Paramus, NJ, USA; Jason Day tees off on the fifth hole during the second round of The Barclays golf tournament at Ridgewood Country Club.  Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports