NORTON, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Red-hot Jason Day of Australia heads into this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship seeking a fourth PGA Tour victory in five starts to strengthen his grip at the top of the FedExCup standings.
The 27-year-old won the opener in the lucrative four-event playoff series by a commanding six shots at The Barclays last week and now turns his attention to the TPC Boston in Norton where he finished second in 2010 and tied for third in 2011.
“I love coming back up here,” PGA Championship winner Day told reporters on Thursday as he prepared for Friday’s opening round when he will play in high-profile company with world number two Jordan Spieth and fourth-ranked Bubba Watson.
“It’s a beautiful place, the people are fantastic and the crowds are great. The golf course, for some reason, fits my eye. So when you put that all together, you start to feel a lot more comfortable here.”
Day has been unquestionably the best player in the game over the past six weeks, piling up wins at the Canadian Open, PGA Championship and The Barclays, but was reluctant to describe himself as the world number one.
“I honestly believe that I am playing some good golf right now but with Rory coming back and Jordan, I can’t say that I am (the game’s best player),” said third-ranked Day. “It just wouldn’t feel right.
“You can’t look at the world rankings and go, ‘Yeah I’m the best player in the world but I am ranked third in the world right now.’ It’s a two-year rollover for a reason (in the rankings system).
“The play that I’ve been doing over the last six or seven weeks has been great but the (rankings) average is there for a reason. I’ve just got to keep playing well and hope that I can get my name there, at the top of the world rankings.”
Northern Irish world number one McIlroy returns to action at the TPC Boston after skipping The Barclays last week, where Spieth surprisingly missed the cut to end his short reign at the top of the rankings and slide down to second.
The top 70 players on the FedExCup points list after the Deutsche Bank advance to the Sept. 17-20 BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Illinois where the leading 30 will qualify for the Tour Championship finale in Atlanta the following week.
Among those in danger of being eliminated after this week’s event are 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley (71st) and England’s former world number one Luke Donald (87th).
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue