Raise your hand if you picked Jason Day in your Fantasy Golf line-up for The Heritage. /raising hand. I’m sure there are quite a few hands in the air. Well, so far, it’s proving to be a great decision. Listening to Day speak in his pre-tourney press conference and learning about his new mental coach, I wasn’t surprised that his fantastic play is carrying over from the Masters, where he finished T2 in his first start at Augusta. Day followed his opening two-under 69 and fired a sizzling eight-under 65 at Harbour Town during the second round of The Heritage. Day, who has only hit eight fairways (and three during the first round), struggled with his driving, but he compensated for it with solid iron play, managing to still hit 15 greens. Harbour Town demands consistency off the tee — even if you’re in the short grass, you may not have a shot to the green, so you also have to be precise.
“I think the good thing is when I do miss the fairway, it’s on the right side of the fairway where I can actually have a shot at hitting the green,” said Day in his post-round presser. “And when I do miss it, obviously in the wrong spot, I’m trying the best I can to obviously hit the center of the green or run it up the center of the green. The greens are so small here, if you hit it on the greens you have a good chance of making a birdie, even if you hit it in the trees.”
Day’s performance is an extension of the mental confidence he gained at the Masters.
“It gave me a lot of confidence to play these guys, like the big name guys,” said Day. “And obviously, I think mentally exactly what I did out there on the last round (at Augusta), taking what I did out there and applying it to each round helps a lot. It’s just, you know, there’s been a lot of planning, and preparation is probably one of the biggest keys that helped me mentally.”
(Aside: if you haven’t watched it already, check out the video of “Days’ of RV Lives (Part I)” otherwise known as “Jason Day and His Wife Unplugged.“)
Day surged up the leaderboard to share the early clubhouse lead with Camilo Villegas and defending champion Jim Furyk, who both also shot two-day totals of eight-under.
Chances are they won’t be at the very top at day’s end.
Color me not so shocked — Luke Donald is currently atop the leaderboard. Donald finished second and third in the last two years, respectively. He carded 67 on Thursday. Now in round two, he’s five-under through 11, nine-under total. With a victory this week, Luke, currently No. 3 in the world, will surpass Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood to become the No. 1 player in the world. Luuuuuke!
On that note, I’m heading out to watch him play the back nine.
(AP Photo/Stephen Morton)