Jason Day's API defense off to solid start at Bay Hill

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Jason Day's API defense off to solid start at Bay Hill

PGA Tour

Jason Day's API defense off to solid start at Bay Hill

ORLANDO, Fla. – As Jason Day walked past Emiliano Grillo on Thursday afternoon near the players’ locker room at Bay Hill, he said to Grillo, “incredible round, mate.”

Grillo just smiled. He had just fired an impressive 5-under 67, three shots better than anyone in the morning wave, on a cold and windy morning at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“Anything under par today in the morning was great,” Day said.

Which is why Day was pleased with his first-round 70. He started on the par-4 10th and birdied Nos. 12 and 16 en route to a bogey-free 34 on the back nine. He bogeyed the par-4 opener, but a birdie at the par-3 seventh got that shot back.

“Days like this (you) are very (defensive) obviously to start out,” Day said. “It was cold, hitting it at least 15 to 20 yards shorter than a total number, so a 4-iron’s (normally) going 220, it’s going 200. And you’re standing over some of the shots and going, ‘OK, what’s the wind doing?’ And then it just doesn’t look like a 4-iron that you’re used to seeing go that sort of distance.

“So it was difficult. As the day gets, goes on and it starts to get warmer, that yardage starts to slowly get back to your normal number, even though we didn’t really get back to it, it was still cold. But it was a tough day and I was glad to get it in at 2 under.”

Day, now No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is searching for his first victory since The Players last May. This season, Day, who battled a back injury in the winter, has just one top 10 in four starts, a T-5 at Pebble Beach.

“I can tell you that I’m trying my best,” Day said. “Some years are going to be great and some years are going to be down and unfortunately that’s just how it goes. … I would say that I just don’t quite have enough confidence in my swing right now. I feel like my putting’s right there, but it’s still lacking. It’s kind of all the parts of my game right now are just behind a little bit.

“But once again, I’m trying my best, I really am giving it a 100 percent, so if that’s what it is, unfortunately, I just got to keep working hard and try and get back to that winning form.”

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