Day leads World Cup of Golf : worldleaks
Jason Day birdied three of his last six holes on Saturday to close out a 5-under 66 and take a 1-stroke lead at the World Cup of Golf.
Day, who is trying his first win since the 2010 Byron Nelson Championship, completed three rounds at Royal Melbourne Golf Club at 9-under-par 204.
“The green speed wasn’t as fast as yesterday, particularly through 16, 17 and 18,” Day said in a televised interview. “I liked how the course was set up. I think the guys did a good job doing that and very excited how I played today.”
Second-round leader Thomas Bjorn handled just an even-par 71 during his third round to sit in second place at 8-under 205.
Matt Kuchar (68) is in third at 6-under, while Francesco Molinari (66) owns fourth at minus-5 and Kevin Streelman (74) is fifth at 4-under.
Graeme McDowell (67) and Hideto Tanihara (71) share sixth place at 3-under 210.
Day’s move to the top of the leaderboard caused Australia to jump ahead of the United States for the lead in the team portion of the competition with a combined score of 11-under-par 415. The American team of Streelman and Kuchar sit a shot back at 10-under.
Bjorn entered the day with a 1-stroke lead over Streelman and quickly included to his advantage with a birdie at the first, moving him to 9-under.
Stuart Manley then joined Streelman in second as he opened his round with back-to-back birdies at the first and second before recording a hole-in-one at the third.
Manley, however, adopted that fast start with an 11 at the par-4 fourth to fall all the way to even-par and hand Day, who birdied the first and second to reach minus-6, second place. Streelman had bogeyed the second and fourth around a double-bogey 5 at the third to lose his share of second.
Day would bogey the fifth to drop to minus-5 and into a tie with Molinari, Kuchar, Tanihara and Ricardo Santos, handing Bjorn a 4-stroke lead.
Bjorn then dropped a shot at the seventh to cut his advantage to three before Day pulled ahead of the pack with a birdie at the ninth to claim sole possession of second place.
Day later moved within a stroke of the lead with a birdie at the 13th, and was passed a share of first place when Bjorn bogeyed the par-3 14th after finding a greenside bunker with his tee shot.
Day briefly pulled ahead with a birdie at the 15th from about 15 feet, but Bjorn replied with a lengthy birdie putt of his own at the 16th to meet the Australian at 8-under.
The tie was short lived, however, as Day exploited the outright lead with a birdie at the 17th. He would 2-putt for par at the last to finish at 9-under.
“I got off to a good start with two birdies, but during the middle of my round it started to get away a little bit,” said Day. “I just stayed patient, just let it happen and coming home I holed a lot of good putts.”
Bjorn came with the final group of the day and found trouble when his second shot came up short of the green and landed in a bunker, but he nearly holed his next shot and tapped in for par to remain a shot off the pace.
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