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."
|Celtics too good for 76ers in NBA opener|
|United States 1 Peru 1: Flores salvages late draw for visitors|
|Martinez not worried about Belgium depth|
|Red Sox move ahead of Astros in ALCS|
|Depay ´a joy to watch´, says Koeman|
|Timberwolves owner looking to trade Butler, backs Thibodeau|
|Shepard says Giants have ´total faith´ in Manning|
|Hazard is out of this world – De Ligt enjoys Belgium test|
|Tite: Brazil were better than Argentina|
|Foley eyes World Cup after re-signing with Wallabies, Waratahs|
|Low slams decisive France penalty call|
|I fined him for his goal at Old Trafford! Giggs delighted for Wales hero Wilson|
|Matuidi lauds Deschamps´ tactical nous after Germany win|
|Scaloni excited by Argentina despite Brazil loss|
|Tsonga back in business, Dzumhur dumped out in Moscow|
|Germany suffer six defeats in a year for first time|
|Many clubs have asked about Piatek - agent|
|Bartomeu: Barca open to defensive reinforcements after Vermaelen injury|
|Bonn spoil PAOK´s landmark European game|
|Konta conquers Mertens in Moscow|
|Republic of Ireland 0 Wales 1: Wilson stunner moves Giggs´ side top|
|France 2 Germany 1: Griezmann delivers Low blow as Les Bleus reign in Paris|
|Belgium 1 Netherlands 1: Groeneveld cancels out Mertens strike|
|Argentina 0 Brazil 1: Miranda heads late winner after rivalry fails to ignite|
|Messi would struggle in this Manchester United team – Scholes|
|Falcons place Devonta Freeman on injured reserve|
|Westbrook ruled out of Thunder opener|
|Wilder´s team open to Joshua talks|
|Brentford appoint Thomas Frank as new head coach|
|England´s perfect performance sets the standard - Trippier|
|Odell Beckham Jr. needs to create headlines on the field, says Giants owner|
|Robshaw joins list of England absentees|
|Chile need goals from Sanchez despite United form - Rueda|
|Modric reveals Ronaldo respect, ´will never play with´ Messi|
|Osaka can be one of the greats, says coach Sascha Bajin|
|Liverpool´s Naby Keita carried off injured in Guinea match|
|Duminy to miss Australia tour for shoulder surgery|
|F1 Raceweek: Ferrari ready to ´challenge the impossible´ as Hamilton nears title|
|Umesh replaces injured Thakur in ODI squad|
|IAAF delay implementation of testosterone ruling amid Semenya challenge|
|Fakhar and Sarfraz lead Pakistan recovery after Lyon blitz|
|Japan see off Uruguay in seven-goal thriller|
|Arda Turan given huge fine by Istanbul Basaksehir after alleged brawl with singer|
|Busquets no better or worse than Dier – does Opta data back up Allardyce claim?|
|United boss Mourinho charged for alleged post-match comments by FA|
|Halep withdraws from Kremlin Cup ahead of WTA Finals|
|Renato Sanches eager for further Bayern Munich minutes|
|Nations League standings: Promotion, relegation and race for finals|
|Windies coach Law banned for ´inappropriate comments´ in India Test|
|Carrick denies Manchester United stars are ´not trying´|
|Ferrari struggling under pressure of chasing Mercedes, says Massa|
|Australia desperately need Smith and Warner back - Warne|
|Draxler warns Germany: Mbappe has 300 hp!|
|Draymond Green says Warriors will have to ´bring it´ every night in the West|
|England´s ´wonderful bravery´ leaves Southgate excited for the future|
|Jayasuriya: I always conduct myself with integrity and transparency|
|Northern Ireland stars hurt by lack of club football, says O´Neill|
|Rodgers inspires late Packers comeback|
|Brewers blank Dodgers to take 2-1 NLCS lead|
|Cavaliers, Nance agree to four-year extension|
|Ramos wants Spain to believe in Luis Enrique´s team|
|De Laurentiis: I´ve spoken to Genoa and agent about Piatek|
|Kaka tips bright future for Paqueta after Milan agreement|
|Suns star Booker set to return for season opener|
|Warriors coach Kerr not expecting fast start from NBA champs|
|Fultz to start for 76ers as Brown eyes NBA Finals|
|Maltese champions Valletta want Usain Bolt|
|It would have been normal to kill them! Luis Enrique slams abysmal Spain|
|Seahawks, Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen dies aged 65|
|Red Sox ace Sale released from hospital, still set for game five|