Jason Day – file photo Henry Peters
Jason Day has bounced back from a horror second round at last week’s Masters Tournament, adding a second round of 67 at the RSM Classic at Sea Island Resort in Sea island in Georgia and although eight shots from overnight leader, Robert Streb, it was a significant turnaround his second round of 78 at Augusta National.
Appearing free from any of the ongoing back ailment that caused grief at the Masters, Day produced four birdies and an eagle to go with one bogey to improve 27 positions following his opening 69 at the Seaside Course yesterday as he negotiated his way round the second of two venues for the event, the Plantation Course.
The highlight of Day’s round was his eagle at the 18th hole (his 9th of the day) when his second shot approach finished 6 feet from the hole.
Day finds himself in 22nd place but importantly it gets his form heading back in the right direction after a disappointing week at the Masters.
Other Australians this week are Aaron Baddeley who is one shot behind Day and Matt Jones in 42nd place and two behind Day.
Cameron Percy and Cameron Davis missed the cut by one shot and Rhein Gibson, who gained a late start in the event after another player had contracted Covid 19, missed by two.
The leader, Streb, has won only one event on the PGA Tour, that coming when successful at this very venue six years ago.
“It’s just really nice to come back here,” said Streb. “It did a lot for me. Obviously had a really good season that year, basically kind of made sure I would get to my pension with the Tour with five years. Yeah, it carried me to where I was going to at least get my five years out here and all that. Obviously got me into a lot of big tournaments, too.”
The story of the week however is the return to form of Camilo Villegas who is overcoming personal setbacks to have himself back on track to return to the sort of form which saw him win two Fed Ex Cup playoff events and reach Number 7 in the world several years ago.
The Colombian has overcome a major shoulder injury and more importantly the death this year of his two year old daughter, Mia, from cancer and his effort this week provides one of the more heart warming stories of 2020 on the PGA Tour.
He is excited about his play but not getting too far ahead of himself.
“Hey, we’ve only played 36 holes. I’m not going to say the confidence is coming back from these two past days, but I think having the shoulder good and all the work that I’ve put in the last few months made me feel better. It’s not a two-day thing, it’s a process. The swing feels good, the speed is better than it was and I’m pain free, so that’s good.”
When asked about the thoughts of his daughter entering his mind when in the middle of a good round he added; “You know what, I just did a little bit when I mentioned her name. When I’m out there, I’m so focused, there’s so much going on, especially under these conditions.
“I’m there with my brother (caddie Manny) and you just follow a process. So to answer your question, you’re so focused on what you’re doing that it doesn’t really — I’m not going to say it doesn’t distract me, but like I said, when I got on the range and I saw a rainbow, hey, listen, here it is.
“She loved colors and rainbows and my wife was all about it. And it was cool. It was a nice way to start the day.”
Villegas with his caddie and brother Manny in action this week. – Getty Images