Former world number one Jason Day was very happy with his first round at the US PGA Championship as he closed proceedings within touching distance of the lead.
Arguably one of the most talented players striding down fairways, 2015 champion Day has not always lived up to expectations due to injuries and the health of his mother, which have hindered his progress on the course.
But Day – who secured a top-10 position at last week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational – snapped back into form on the PGA Tour this year, winning both the Farmers Insurance Open and the Wells Fargo Championship, while also finishing runner-up at Pebble Beach.
And on Thursday, the Australian star carded a three-under-par 67 to be just two shots behind leader Rickie Fowler at the time.
"It was good. I think I hit 12 fairways and 17 greens. It was nice," Day said. "I definitely gave myself a fair share of birdie opportunities out there but didn't quite capitalise on the front side.
"Being able to come back with birdies on seven and eight after I bogeyed on six, even though I hit — I hit a great shot into the par three, just straight over the green. Hit a five iron from 221. I wasn't thinking that was going to go that far. But, fortunately, I'd much rather be in the back bunker than in the water. Overall, I'm very happy with how things progressed out there."
Day had four birdies and one bogey on this scorecard to start the season's final major, and he believes the course at Bellerive Country Club could yield low scores this week.
"There's nothing really tricky about this golf course," Day said. "It just can be brutally long. How do I explain it? There can be two different people can walk off in the same group thinking it's the hardest golf course in the world only because you may be on the wrong side of hitting it in the rough here or there because the rough is pretty thick, and a guy that's flushed it all day long thinking it's a really relatively easy golf course.
"If you can ball strike your way around this golf course, you'll walk off thinking it's pretty simple. If you struggle a little bit off the tee, then it obviously makes it harder."
While golf is Day's focus, a tragedy away from the course is on his mind, and almost everyone on Tour's this week.
Former PGA Tour professional Jarrod Lyle lost his ongoing battle with cancer on Wednesday, and Day was devastated to learn of his fellow countryman's death.
"I received a text about Jarrod, and I just was — it's hard because you sit there and you know him and he's a buddy of yours, and he's not there anymore," Day said. "He's never going to come back. That's the hardest thing to sort of come by.
"I lived across the street from him when we first started out in Orlando. He's a good buddy of mine. It's obviously heartbreaking to see. I've known Jarrod for a long time, and obviously my thoughts and prayers go out to Bri and the two kids. It's just — they're going through some stuff right now. It's obviously — it's hard to hear that information when it comes through any time."
|Balotelli staying at Nice|
|It wasn´t a penalty, says Hodgson as Palace boss fumes at refereeing decisions|
|Salah can play much better - Klopp demands more from Liverpool star|
|Gasly to Red Bull: Vettel, Verstappen and the drivers who took their Toro Rosso chance|
|Klopp in the dark on Karius future amid links to Besiktas|
|Simeone pleased with draw after rigours of Super Cup|
|Captain Reus saves Dortmund in DFB-Pokal|
|I couldn´t care less - Klopp rejects title challenge talk|
|Ailing Bairstow keen to aid England´s unlikely victory bid at Trent Bridge|
|Redskins secure Peterson signing|
|Manchester City goalkeeper Bravo suffers ruptured Achilles|
|Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 2: Milner and Mane secure victory at Selhurst Park|
|Whyte takes aim at ´coward´ Fury ahead of Wilder showdown|
|Jets delighted with Darnold, open to trading Bridgewater|
|Gasly to replace Ricciardo at Red Bull|
|Valencia 1 Atletico Madrid 1: Rodrigo strikes to deny Simeone´s side|
|Injured Halep withdraws from Connecticut Open|
|Cipriani fined £2,000 by Gloucester|
|Mourinho will be sacked before Christmas, says Sharpe|
|England face record chase after Kohli smashes India to huge lead|
|Ozil captaining Arsenal a miracle - Hoeness|
|Japan players apologise for ´thoughtless, careless´ actions at Asian Games|
|Henry wants Bordeaux job, Wenger confirms|
|Pogba too inconsistent and not a leader, claims Scholes|
|PCB chairman Sethi resigns in letter to Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan|
|US Open comes too soon for Tsonga|
|Unpredictable results making 2018 F1 season a classic - Wolff|
|Mendy restricts phone use on Guardiola advice|
|Modric brands Inter approach claim ´the greatest nonsense in history´|
|Runners and Ryders: Olesen leapfrogs Poulter into last Team Europe berth|
|Kenedy escapes further action over Camarasa kick|
|England´s Bairstow suffers ´small fracture´ to finger|
|Gonalons joins Sevilla on loan from Roma|
|Modric, Ronaldo and Salah final UEFA Player of the Year nominees|
|Tottenham to play opening Champions League home match at Wembley|
|Karius´ Champions League blunders did not lead to Alisson signing - Klopp|
|Leeds considered €20m Conte offer before turning to Bielsa|
|Modric, Rakitic lead new era for World Cup finalists Croatia|
|Storm´s Chambers banned for three weeks, Smith injury not serious|
|Porte to race Vuelta after recovering from Tour crash|
|The Career Golden Masters: A run-down of Djokovic´s magnificent record|
|Japan send home four basketball players from Asian Games amid prostitution scandal|
|Rugby tackle bags helping Liverpool´s Alisson with Premier League life|
|Federer raring to go at US Open after Djokovic defeat|
|Chelsea boss Sarri plans to give up smoking|
|Alonso´s Toyota team stripped of Silverstone victory|
|Ceballos: No issue with former Real Madrid boss Zidane|
|MLS Review: Martinez equals single-season goalscoring record|
|Astros avoid sweep with win over Athletics|
|Seppi advances, Paire exits Winston-Salem|
|Bale feeling good as Madrid eye sweep of trophies|
|You can´t leave a house three-quarters built – Neville urges United to back Mourinho|
|Dodgers slugger Machado leaves game after being struck by pitch|
|Harden says Carmelo will ´be a good fit´ for Rockets|
|Morata: I never considered Chelsea exit|
|Gavrilova kicks off title defence in New Haven|
|Lopetegui pleased with Bale and Real Madrid after LaLiga opener|
|It´s a very special moment – Djokovic revels in Golden Masters achievement|
|Sorrentino thanks Ronaldo for support after injury|
|Twins place Santana on DL with finger injury|
|Yankees´ Gregorius suffers ´pretty significant´ heel bruise|
|Snedeker ends PGA Tour drought with Wyndham Championship win|
|Spalletti unconcerned despite Inter´s underwhelming start|
|Djokovic makes history with Masters clean sweep in Cincinnati|
|Real Madrid 2 Getafe 0: Bale gives Lopetegui first LaLiga win|
|IndyCar driver Wickens taken to hospital after crash|
|Sherman calls for NFL to scrap ´idiotic´ helmet rule|
|Sassuolo 1 Inter 0: New-look Nerazzurri given early reality check|
|Hughton: Shock United win does not alter scale of Brighton´s task|
|Navas keeps place as Courtois waits on Madrid debut|