GOLF ROUNDUPDay has hunger to again be No. 1


The Associated Press



Day

Day


PGA glance

Facts and figures for the 99th PGA Championship, which starts Thursday at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina:

Length: 7,600 yards.

Par: 35-36 — 71.

Field: 156 players (136 tour pros, 20 club pros).

Defending champion: Jimmy Walker.

Grand Slam: Jordan Spieth can become the sixth — and youngest — player with the career Grand Slam.

Key statistic: The last three PGA Championship winners shot 68 or better all four rounds.

Noteworthy: No one has ever completed the career Grand Slam at the PGA Championship.

Quoteworthy: “It was only two weeks ago that I was able to get the third leg, and that’s fresh in my mind. I’m so happy about that that I can’t add pressure to this week.” — Jordan Spieth.

Key tee times: Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia, 8:25 a.m. (10th tee); Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, 1:35 p.m. (1st tee).

Television (all times EDT): Thursday and Friday, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., TNT. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., TNT Sports; 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. CBS. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., TNT; 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., CBS.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jason Day’s swagger — and his motivation — have returned.

“I’m hungry again — and I’m looking forward to trying to beat these guys,” Day said Wednesday on the eve of the 99th PGA Championship.

Day is in the midst of what he called a “very poor season” with only two top 10 finishes and no wins in 15 starts. But the world’s former No. 1 player feels like he’s about to turn the corner after finishing tied for 24th last week at Bridgestone.

He’s also drawing confidence from his past success at the PGA Championship, winning at Whistling Straits in 2015 and finishing second last year to Jimmy Walker at Baltusrol. His renewed confidence may not be good news for the rest of the field this week. Jordan Spieth is aiming for a career grand slam.

“I’m motivated now,” said Day, who withdrew from a tournament in March to be with his cancer-stricken mother.

His best finish this year is second at the AT&T Byron Nelson, where he lost a playoff to Billy Horschel.

Day entered the season as the top-ranked player but has since dropped to No. 7 — something that he says “annoys and motivates me at the same time.”

He made it clear his goal is to get back on top — and anticipates that will start with a strong performance this week at Quail Hollow.

The 29-year-old Australian said his passion waned late last season after getting “burned out.” Looking back, Day felt like he spread himself too thin trying to fulfill obligations and spending less time practicing and relaxing.

“I was trying to do too many things,” he said.

By the time the end of last year rolled around, Day said he was exhausted after spending nearly a full year as the top-ranked player.

That pressure, along with his mother’s lung cancer surgery in March, led to a rough start to the 2017 season. He tearfully pulled out of the Match Play Championship six holes in, too distraught to play, to join her ahead of the surgery.

“It was difficult for me to be on the golf course and even think about actually playing at the time,” Day said.

On the course, his driving deteriorated and his normally reliable short game eluded him. In short, he felt like his game plateaued.

“You’re not panicking or anything, you’re just wondering why,” Day said. “You’re up at night thinking about, ‘OK, what do I need to do to get back to that winning room?’”

If Day does get back to No. 1, he’s vowed to handle things differently. In some ways, he’s already done that.

He didn’t arrive in Charlotte until Tuesday night and checked in to the tournament on Wednesday morning so he could spend more time at home in Ohio away from distractions.

Day refuses to call this a lost season.

Sure, he’s finished out of contention at the Masters (tied for 22nd), the U.S. Open (cut) and the British Open (tied for 27th), but he believes his putting and driving are coming back.

And he harkens back to 2014 when he finished the year strong, which served as a springboard for two incredible seasons.

”I want to win again,” Day said. “So I’m excited about that.”

Woods plea

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Tiger Woods has agreed to plead guilty to reckless driving and will enter a diversion program that will allow him to have his record wiped clean if he completes the program, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Woods, 41, was charged with driving under the influence in May when he was found asleep in his Mercedes-Benz, apparently under the influence of a prescription painkiller and sleeping medication. No alcohol was found in his system.

Woods did not appear at the Palm Beach County courthouse for his arraignment. Prosecutor Adrienne Ellis said the golf superstar agreed to plead guilty at an Oct. 25 hearing and enter the county’s program for first-time DUI offenders.

“He is not being treated any different than anyone else,” Ellis said.

Woods’ attorney, Douglas Duncan, entered a not guilty plea to the DUI charge on Woods’ behalf and declined comment as he left the courthouse.

Under the plea deal, prosecutors would drop the DUI charge, which is a more severe charge than reckless driving. If he completes the program, he can ask a judge to expunge the reckless driving conviction.

U.S. Women’s Amateur

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Stroke play medalist Shannon Aubert won seven holes in a 10-hole stretch to beat Samantha Hutchison 6 and 4 on Wednesday in the first match play round of the U.S. Women’s Amateur.

Aubert had three birdies in four holes on the front nine at San Diego Country Club to build a 3-up lead and closed out the match with a par on the 14th. The Stanford senior will next play fellow Frenchwoman Agathe Laisne, a 2-and-1 winner over reigning U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Erica Shepherd.

Virginia Elena Carta, the 2016 runner-up, beat Pauline Roussin-Bouchard 4 and 3, and last year’s semifinalist Yuka Saso made five birdies to top Conner Beth Ball 3 and 2. The 2014 champion Kristen Gillman defeated Hailee Cooper 3 and 2.

Brooke Seay topped Rachel Heck in a match that went 20 holes. Both made the cut at last month’s U.S. Women’s Open.

Alabama starters Lauren Stephenson, Cheyenne Knight and Kristen Gillman advanced, as did Gigi Stoll, Haley Moore and Krystal Quihuis, who all play for Arizona.

Day
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/08/web1_08.10.18.day_.jpgDay

The Associated Press

PGA glance

Facts and figures for the 99th PGA Championship, which starts Thursday at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina:

Length: 7,600 yards.

Par: 35-36 — 71.

Field: 156 players (136 tour pros, 20 club pros).

Defending champion: Jimmy Walker.

Grand Slam: Jordan Spieth can become the sixth — and youngest — player with the career Grand Slam.

Key statistic: The last three PGA Championship winners shot 68 or better all four rounds.

Noteworthy: No one has ever completed the career Grand Slam at the PGA Championship.

Quoteworthy: “It was only two weeks ago that I was able to get the third leg, and that’s fresh in my mind. I’m so happy about that that I can’t add pressure to this week.” — Jordan Spieth.

Key tee times: Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia, 8:25 a.m. (10th tee); Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, 1:35 p.m. (1st tee).

Television (all times EDT): Thursday and Friday, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., TNT. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., TNT Sports; 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. CBS. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., TNT; 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., CBS.

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