Playing in the company of fellow PGA Tour players Rod Pampling and Geoff Ogilvy, Day wowed the big crowds who turned out early to watch Australia’s most recent major winner.
Three birdies in his first five holes had the fans cheering and with eight birdies on the day against one bogey and a double, Day walked off the ninth green in a buoyant mood.
“It was amazing actually, the support that we had here today,” Day said in his post-round press conference.
“Sydney crowds are usually pretty big, but it was a good size today. It was nice to be able to play well in front of them too, because obviously that’s why they pay the money, to come here and watch good golf.
“I made a couple of mistakes out there with some swings, but made, I think, eight birdies, which was nice and finished at 5-under, which is a good start to the week.
“It was exciting to play. The crowds were terrific out there. Hopefully we can bring some more people out tomorrow afternoon.”
Those who made the effort to arrive in time for Day’s 7.05am tee time were rewarded after play, the 30-year-old spending a decent amount of time singing autographs and posing for selfies.
“It’s been four years since I’ve been here, so I think I owe it to everyone that wants an autograph or wants a picture, to be able to stop and give it to them,” he said.
“Because like I said earlier in the week, I haven’t been able to be here for the last four years and it’s so great to play in front of the crowds here.
“They were very supportive of not only me, but the whole group, they’re great fans and to be able to hopefully make someone’s day, is nice to be doing at the end of the day.”
Tournament drawcard Jason Day speaks to the media following his opening 67.
Day was pleased with his overall performance, rating his play a ‘seven or eight out of 10’ with only the putter needing improvement over the coming day.
“Obviously, if you have the lead, that’s a 10 out of 10, but I’m not too sure what is leading right now, but I felt like I played some pretty solid golf out there,” he said.
“I didn’t miss many fairways and I didn’t miss many greens. I think the biggest thing for me is to just try and play the way I’ve been playing but hole more putts.
“That’s the hardest thing that I’ve been trying to get across the line is really capitalising on the opportunities that I’ve had.
“I felt like I’m starting to drive the ball a lot better and that’s giving me the opportunity going into the greens, I just need to somehow turn those good solid par holes into that’s a great birdie hole.”
Playing partners Ogilvy and Pampling also played well, Pampling signing for a 3-under 68 and Ogilvy a 2-under 69.
The trio will hit off at 12.10 tomorrow from the first tee.
SHORT GAME WIZARD BRETT RUMFORD:
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