Jason Day has defied his season of injury and illness to fire a sublime six-under 65, rocketing the Queenslander to second place and just one shot off world No.1 Rory McIlroy’s lead late in a wet second round of the PGA Championship.
McIlroy, winner of the British Open and World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational at his last two starts, carded a four-under 67 to push out to nine-under par but Day bested him by two shots in the soggy conditions at Valhalla Golf Club to be eight-under.
Americans Ryan Palmer (70), Rickie Fowler (66) and Jim Furyk (17 holes) share third at seven-under.
World No.9 Day blitzed out of the blocks, shooting a front nine five-under 30 thanks to three birdies and an eagle.
He knocked a 17-foot birdie putt in on the second and then hit a lovely wedge to five-feet on the fourth before converting with his putter.
He then munched an approach to the par five seventh and rolled in a 14-foot eagle, igniting the galleries.
The 26-year-old stayed hot with a stellar approach to six-feet on the par three eighth and buried the putt to continue his roll.
Desperately close to birdies on the 10th and 11th but forced to settle for pars Day started to cool off and a bogey on the 15th seemed to stall his tilt.
But back-to-back birdies on his last two holes put an exclamation mark on the current low round of the day.
Coming into the event after withdrawing last week with vertigo Day was under the radar of most pundits, but has certainly started to garner attention and is odds on to be in the final group with McIlroy on Saturday.
Matt Jones posted an even par round of 71 to stay three-under, extending his stay at Valhalla into the weekend, as did Geoff Ogilvy (71) at two-under.
Adam Scott managed a final hole birdie to join Ogilvy at two-under, needing a huge Saturday to get back in the mix.
The rest of the Australians seem destined to miss the cut.
Marc Leishman is three-over through 16 holes while club pro Stuart Deane’s dreams of making the cut were dashed after he finished at four-over but he did well to shoot 71 in round two.
Steven Bowditch joined Deane at four-over and John Senden (+7) will also miss out on the weekend.