Jason Day a week to week proposition but when he is good he is very good – photo Henry Peters

Jason Day is tied for 2nd place and just two behind the leader, Sam Burns, through 36 holes at Vivint Houston Open being played at the Municipal Park Golf Course in the suburbs of Houston.

Day played early on day two and put together a solid two under par round of 68 on the demanding layout which he described as requiring patience.

“It’s one of these golf courses, you leave yourself on the wrong side — you know, I’ve watched Phil out there the last two days, he kind of left himself in some pretty tough positions and you’re just struggling the whole day. It’s one of those courses where you’ve just got to be patient and try to get your birdies when you can.”

The ongoing issue of Day’s health is constantly raised and today he explained the reason for a recent withdrawal at the Shadow Creek event while in contention.

The form’s been very inconsistent obviously because I’m trying to change my swing a little bit just to try and help the back out. I guess I’m stuck in between patterns right now, what I want to feel, my body just won’t handle it and sometimes it just compensates elsewhere. That’s why it happened to my neck at CJ.

Despite a bogey at his final hole, Adam Scott is just four from the lead and tied for 9th after his round of 69. In his first event back from an enforced layoff after contracting the Covid 19 virus.

Clearly this is one last opportunity for Scott to have his game in shape ahead of next week’s Masters. While the golf courses are very different Scott sees this week’s test as great mental preparation for Augusta National.

“I think this course, because it is quite relentless as far as it’s long and it’s a bit of a brute, is testing the patience and the focus and that’s always tested at a major championship,” said Scott.

“There’s nothing much resembling Augusta National here, they’re very different kinds of golf courses, but that long day out on the course where you’re required to hit a lot of tough shots is similar and that’s testing the mental side of it very much.”

Like Day, Scott began his round early on day two and birdies at his 16th and 17th holes appeared to have him beautifully placed before finding the bunker at the last and dropping a shot.

The former winner of the event is, however, nicely placed, heading into the weekend, to challenge for this title and to hone his competitive game ahead of next week after a break of a six weeks some of that recovering from the world wide Covid virus.

Adam Scott in action this week – close enough if good enough – photo Getty Images

Greg Chalmers and Matt Jones are at 1 over while Cameron Davis was unable to capitalise on his fine start yesterday, adding a round of 76 to his opening 67 to be at 3 over and only just into the weekend field.

Burns has yet to win on the PGA Tour but the 24 year old has recorded several top tens. Like so many others he mentioned the demands of the layout in his post round press conference and was pleased with the manner in which he has handled it.

“I think that’s the challenging part of this golf course, it takes a lot of discipline around here. You get out of position, you just try to get it back to where you can get it up and down or get it in a section of the green where you can lag putt it. Fortunately early we got some good looks and was able to convert, so, solid.”

Burns also mentioned the benefit of his experience at the recent Safeway Open where he contended and outlined the experience he had learned from that.

“I think slowing down a little bit, really talking through the shot with Travis (caddie) and making sure we have a clear picture of what we’re trying to do, I think that was really helpful to learn that.”