New Day for world number one in U.S. Open second round

Sat Jun 18, 2016 3:14pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

OAKMONT, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Having paid a steep price for wayward approach shots in the opening round at Oakmont Country Club, world number one Jason Day clawed his way back into contention at the weather-hit U.S. Open on Saturday.

The Australian parred his last three holes to end a marathon second round that began early on Friday with a one-under-par 69, a five-over total of 145 leaving him nine strokes off the early lead in the year's second major championship.

With conditions expected to become more difficult over the weekend as the notoriously tough golf course firms up under relentless sunshine, Day has set his sights on getting to back to level par.

"It was good to come back out this morning and par the last few holes, which are very difficult to do because seven, eight and nine are not easy," Day told reporters. "The greens are only going to get firmer and faster, and same with the fairways.

"I'm trying to claw my way back to even par. I think, if I can get back to even par, that I may have a good chance at giving myself a shot at winning. But obviously, there's plenty of golf to be played."

Day has been the game's hottest player over the past 12 months with seven tournament wins, including last year's PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, but left himself with plenty of work to do after struggling in the opening round at Oakmont.

"The first round, obviously, was terrible," the 28-year-old Queenslander said. "I gave myself plenty of opportunities in the first round.

"I felt like I drove it pretty good in the first round and then missed too many greens, especially with short clubs, and a couple three-putts in there as well."   Continued...

Jun 17, 2016; Oakmont, PA, USA; Jason Day plays a shot from the 12th fairway during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Oakmont Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports