Jason Day remains upbeat about his chances to redeem a lacklustre start in the US Open, but Tiger Woods not so much after a case of the wobbles.
Day says he will tap the enthusiasm of legendary caddie Steve Williams in Sunday’s final round of the US Open when he attempts to go low and put pressure on the leaders at Pebble Beach.
Meanwhile, ‘greens whisperer’ Williams’ ex-boss, Tiger Woods, is wondering if he has the right stuff to record birdies instead of the bogeys that nudged him well down the Open leader board.
Woods made more bogeys (three) than birdies (two) over the critical opening seven holes on Saturday and instead of revving up for another magical run at the majors he was talking about missed opportunities and the now-fantastical hope of winning his fourth US Open title.
“I got off to a crap start …. and those are the easier holes. I had to try to fight back and claw out a round today, which I was able to do,” he said after a round of even-par 71 left him even for the tournament and 11 shots off the lead.
A lacklustre third round left former world No.1 Day well off the pace, carding a one-under-par 70 to sit at even-par after 54 holes.
But Day, twice a runner-up at the US Open, knows he can rocket up the leaderboard with a hot final round.
And he hopes the wind wreaks havoc on the leaders on Sunday afternoon.
“I need to post a five or a six under tomorrow,” Day said after his round on Saturday.
“If conditions get tough and I shoot six under I could have a good chance at it.”
Day is debuting accomplished caddie Williams this week, the New Zealander who carried the clubs for Tiger Woods during 13 of his 15 major championship wins and Adam Scott when he won the 2013 Masters.
The 31-year-old Day said Williams’s unrelenting positivity was infectious and was the reason he was still somewhat in the mix despite not having his best game at Pebble Beach this week.
Day said Williams’ can-do attitude and experience in the pressure cooker of majors will be essential in his Sunday charge.
“Steve thinks I’m putting good enough (to go low) and I feel like I’m putting good enough,” Day said.
“If he is confident in me, then I feel like I can give myself a shot at it.
“If I commit to my shots and execute the shots I need to, then you never know what could happen at a US Open.”