When Day holed a bunker shot for eagle at the par-five 9th hole in today’s final round, he might have still been six behind leader Webb Simpson but the momentum appeared to be building towards something very special.
Day had begun the final round 10 shots behind Simpson but when the bunker shot at the par-five disappeared into the hole there was a faint hope, with a little help from Simpson, that perhaps he could reel the leader in.
It was not to be, Day unable to find another birdie on the way in but his round of 68 was good enough to earn him a share of 5th alongside American Jason Dufner.
Backing up from his victory at last week's Wells Fargo Championship, Day finished seven shots behind eventual champion Webb Simpson, providing further confirmation of his return to the top echelon of the game.
Day gave some cause for concern when he appeared to grimace in pain after a wayward second shot at the par-five 16th but explained the situation after his round.
“Every now and then it happens where my shoulder wants to, it feels like it pops out but it's like more of a sting. And I don't know, I don't know if it's from because I've had back issues and it's gone from my back to my shoulder now, because it snowballs, I don't know.
“I'm constantly doing shoulder exercises twice a day; it takes me about 30 to 45 minutes total just to keep it loose. My whole life now is just pretty much little exercises just to try and stay loose. But every now and then it will just come up and just pop and it stings straight away.
“So it's more on the transition, so when I go to the top and then I start to unwind, then it is like a stinging pain and then flipped it and went left. So just unfortunately just at the wrong time there because obviously you can get maybe get an eagle and get something going. But, it is what it is.
“It was good to get off to a good start (today), 4-under through nine holes and then it was just disappointing to stand up on both of the par-5s, have 7-iron in my hand and walk off with par.
“Walk off with par at 12, that's an accessible pin location today. Just didn't quite get it. I gave myself opportunities coming into the greens, just didn't take them and that's a little disappointing because you get it to 16-under par, I think at one point he was at 18, that's still close enough for him to start thinking about things and unfortunately it just didn't happen on the back nine.”
Adam Scott indicated that he was trending in the right direction with a bogey-free final round of 68 to share 11th place, his best finish anywhere in 12 months.
Scott was understandably delighted with the manner in which his game is coming together at such a critical time given he has work to do to make the US Open field in June.
“Yeah, it was pretty good out there, especially today. Bogey-free around here, I know the scoring's good but one loose shot can cost you here, and today I was pretty tight. Actually it felt the best swinging the club today of all week, so I like that. Hopefully the start of a good run of golf for me.
“I putted well this week, relatively speaking. I mean, I putted better than I have this year for four consecutive days, and I putted well for three consecutive days last week. So I like that; confidence is building with the putter and certainly helps free up a little bit of the rest of the game.
"I made some really good par saves this week that help so much with momentum that I wasn't making when you're really out of position and you're 15 feet for par and maybe made one or two a day.
"It keeps the round going, and I just haven't been doing that consistently and it makes it hard, always on the back foot. So that was good this week, and if I can keep swinging it nicely for the next couple weeks, I feel like my game will be in really good shape."
Scott is still under the pump in terms of chasing a place in the US Open.
He has until May 21st or June 11th to be inside the top 60 in the world ranking.
He was 71st leading into this week and will improve several places to just outside the top 60 but there is still work to do and his upcoming schedule will be dictated by the ranking cut-off dates.
“If I don't play well enough next week to get in the top 60, I'll be looking at Colonial and Memorial, and I don't know if Memphis can help me or not at that point, but we'll see. Week-to-week.”
Marc Leishman made a great move on Saturday with a round of 67 but he was nine shots worse today (76) and finished 63rd.
JASON DAY: WINNING PITCH ACTION
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