Jason Day finds his groove at BMW Championship with close friend on the bag

After Jason Day completed his Friday round at Conway Farms, a friend shouted, “Jason, my car is on its last legs!”

“Better start walking!” Day shot back with a smile.

The affable Aussie was awarded a BMW M760i sedan for what he described as a “lucky” hole-in-one, a 7-iron on the downhill, 186-yard 17th hole that landed in the rough and released perfectly to the cup.

“I kind of pushed it,” he said.

Day won’t be returning the Beemer. But he won’t be keeping it either.

MORE: BMW Championship leaderboard | Watch PGA Tour Live

Day decided to donate the car to an Evans Scholar, a pay-it-forward gesture matching BMW’s $100,000 donation to the Evans Scholars Foundation. Meaning one lucky and diligent caddie gets a college scholarship and another gets a sick ride.

“I’m in a fortunate position,” Day said, “very blessed to be able to try to bless someone else.”

Indeed, Day is #blessed and #humbled after a 2017 season in which he was a nonfactor in all four majors yet remains in position to cash a monster check at next week’s Tour Championship.

At 13 under after two rounds of the BMW Championship, Day is tied for second with Rickie Fowler, three shots behind Marc Leishman, who followed his opening 9-under 62 with a 64.

If 62-64 (16 under) sounds like an unprecedented start, it isn’t. Day opened 61-63 at Conway Farms in 2015 before finishing a victorious 22 under with a 69-69 finish.

No one knew quite what to expect from Day this week after he stunned the golf world by removing longtime caddie, coach and mentor Colin Swatton from his bag. Not since a Wendy’s Three-Tour Challenge event in 2012 had Day played without Swatton by his side.

His new looper is Luke Reardon, a close friend since their junior golf days in Queensland and a school roommate.

“I feel more excited having my buddy on the bag,” Day said. “I think Luke was a little nervous starting (Thursday’s round). I had to tell him to get out of people’s lines and stuff. He’s starting to find his way.

“He’s seen me hit a boatload of shots. We played pretty much every Wednesday and Saturday together throughout our high school years. Being able to put my 100 percent trust in those conversations (about clubs) is the communication that’s needed.”

Reardon declined to comment after the round. Day credits Reardon for giving him the Tiger Woods instruction book, “How I Play Golf,” and for supercharging his practice habits.

“He was actually better than me,” Day said, “And he worked harder than anyone in the school. It gets light really early in Queensland, and he’d be up practicing at 4:30, 5. That’s why I changed the way I practiced when I was a kid. He’s one of the reasons I am here today.”

Day’s 65 was bettered by his fellow Aussie Leishman, who has birdied half of his 36 holes.

“Hopefully I can keep that going,” he said. “It has been a fun two days. The weather’s perfect and my game feels like it’s in a really good spot in all aspects.”

Conway Farms members view this as a tough track. So do their guests. But it’s being set up to showcase the world’s best players, and so far 59 of the 70 are under par.

“I don’t think it’s a pushover,” Leishman said. “If you’re spraying it a little bit and playing from the rough, there are (high) numbers to be had.”

Or so he hears.


This article is written by Teddy Greenstein from Chicago Tribune and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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