POTOMAC, Md. — Three years and 364 days since his final victory, Jason Day describes himself as “obsessed” with honing his new swing and enhancing his outcomes, even when he by no means will get again to No. 1 on the planet.
There wasn’t a lot room for enchancment Thursday as Day shot a 7-under 63 to take the first-round lead on the Wells Fargo Championship. Joel Dahmen was a shot again on what could possibly be the most effective day for scoring at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, with rain, wind and unseasonably cool temperatures within the forecast by means of Sunday.
“Clearly, we have some climate coming in, so I really feel like we will go into grind mode over the subsequent few days, which I usually like,” Day stated. “It should be troublesome.”
The 34-year-old Day has been working with teacher Chris Como on a swing that can defend his chronically balky again, and he says it feels strong with each membership besides the driving force. His renewed dedication and relative good well being are encouraging indicators from a participant who gained eight occasions in a 15-month span in 2015-16, together with the PGA Championship and the Gamers Championship.
“I take into consideration the golf swing within the morning, I take into consideration the golf swing through the day and I take into consideration the golf swing at evening,” Day stated. “There’s been conversations at 12 at evening with Chris simply because I’ve an concept in my head and a sure sensation and a really feel.”
Day’s final win got here on this event at Quail Hole. The Wells Fargo moved to the Maryland suburbs of Washington this 12 months as a result of its normal venue is internet hosting the Presidents Cup in September.
The Worldwide staff at that occasion would certainly welcome a resurgent Day, who made 5 of his eight birdies from inside 10 ft on Thursday. The Australian took the lead with a chip-in on the par-4 fifteenth gap.
“The factor that is completely different between now and once I was No. 1 on the planet, though the method may not have been as crisp as it’s proper now, I had all the arrogance on the planet, particularly on the greens. In order that’s at all times the purpose,” Day stated.
Matthew Wolff, native favourite Denny McCarthy and PGA Tour rookies Aaron Rai, Callum Tarren and Paul Barjon had been two pictures again. Rory McIlroy, the top-ranked participant within the subject at No. 7, had an up-and-down 67.
Wolff’s earlier two aggressive rounds had been an 81 and a 78 on the Masters, the place the 23-year-old long-hitter completed behind each 60-something previous champion within the subject. He performed an informal spherical at his dwelling membership a couple of days in the past and misplaced each ball in his bag.
Beware the participant with nonexistent expectations.
“I can exit and shoot 90 tomorrow and so long as I’ve a superb perspective, I can put a examine mark on this week and say that I’ve grown as an individual and as a participant and that is simply all I actually care about proper now,” Wolff stated. “To be sincere, it is humorous, however I am not right here to win a golf event, I am right here to have a superb time.”
Dahmen loved his fast surge to the highest of the leaderboard. After a 7-iron from 173 yards to 7 ft on the par-4 eighth gap, he stared on the scoreboard behind the inexperienced whereas ready for enjoying companions Patrick Reed and Jason Dufner. Then he holed the putt to achieve 6 below.
“I like seeing my identify up there. It is one thing that, , that is what we work for, proper? To have slightly little bit of stress within the first spherical I believe is nice,” Dahmen stated.
Dahmen’s putter cooled on the again 9, however he lastly made one other birdie when he missed an ace by inches on the par-3 seventeenth.
McIlroy’s solely large mistake was a tee shot that began too far left and drew into the water on the par-4 fourth, his thirteenth of the day. A penalty drop and a sloppy chip led to double bogey, however he rebounded with birdies on the subsequent two holes.
“I stated to myself strolling off the inexperienced, if I may simply get again to three below for the day by the tip of the day after that, I might be fairly comfortable, and clearly I did that,” McIlroy stated.
Rickie Fowler hit two pictures into the right-side wetlands on the par-4 sixth, then holed out from 134 yards to save lots of bogey. He hit driver to 11 ft for eagle on the 305-yard, par-4 thirteenth in a spherical of 66 that he summed up as “attention-grabbing.”
“There was a pair that had been slightly offline and value me slightly bit early within the spherical, however apart from that, plenty of good things,” stated Fowler, who’s working by means of swing modifications and has dropped to 146th on the planet. “Positively pleased with immediately.”