Saturday, September 24, 2016

Jason Day retires from Tour Championship 

with back injury

Jason Day is out of the running for the $10m FedExCup windfall. The Australian was forced to withdraw from the Tour Championship during the second round.
Day continued to struggle with a back injury that has affected him on several occasions this season, a problem which also caused him to pull out of the BMW Championship two weeks ago during the final round.
The world No 1 admitted feeling "sharp pain" in his back on the opening day at East Lake in Atlanta, particularly after he hit driver off the tee, although he insisted the pain was not constant.
"When I get to the top of the swing, as soon as my hips start to unfold and then there's that little bit of separation, it just crunches down," Day said on Thursday. "It just hurts."

Day admitted to feeling sharp pain in his back during his first round
Day admitted to feeling sharp pain in his back during his first round
Day defied the problem to fire a three-under 67, but he was in clear discomfort while playing the eighth in his second round and picked his ball up before completing the hole.
The Australian was level par for the round after seven holes, but he pulled his drive at the eighth into the water and blocked his next shot into the thick rough on the right, from where he was unable to find the green.
Day then informed the match official of his withdrawal and shook hands with playing partner Si-woo Kim before walking gingerly back to the clubhouse, and his management company soon released a statement on his condition.
"Jason has a strained ligament in his lower right back with muscle spasm," the statement read. "He withdrew as a precautionary measure. Jason should be fine with some rest after a long break in the off-season."
Day's absence from the remainder of the tournament now means only four players can be crowned FedExCup champion on Sunday, with US Open champion Dustin Johnson the firm favourite ahead of Patrick Reed, Adam Scott and Paul Casey.
Johnson is also now guaranteed to win the PGA Player of the Year points race, while he is the front-runner to be named PGA Tour Player of the Year in the annual vote of all playing members.

Dustin Johnson remained on course to end a memorable season as FedExCup champion as he claimed a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Tour Championship.
Trailing joint-overnight leader Kevin Chappell by one at the turn, Johnson suddenly found himself two clear at the top of the leaderboard when he birdied 10 and 11 before Chappell dropped his first, and only, shot of the day at the 11th.
Johnson did falter twice coming in, but a 67 was enough to give him the outright lead on seven under ahead of Chappell, while Rory McIlroy recovered from a poor front nine to salvage a 70 which left him five off the pace along with Paul Casey as only 10 players completed 36 holes under par.

With Day having withdraw,  Johnson, Patrick Reed, Adam Scott and Casey are the only players who can land the $10m FedExCup bonus on Sunday.
Johnson made a steady start before holing back-to-back six-foot putts for birdies at the fifth and sixth, and he converted two further chances from inside 10 feet immediately after the turn before blocking a routine wedge approach to the 12th into a bunker and failing to get up and down.
The US Open champion got the shot back with a 12-foot putt for his fifth birdie of the round at the 16th, although a poor drive led to another bogey at the next before he found rough again from the tee at the long final hole and had to settle for a closing par-five.
Chappell, an outside contender to earn Davis Love's final captain's pick for next week's Ryder Cup, reeled off three consecutive birdies from the sixth to hit the front on seven under, but he missed the green at the short 11th and ran up a four.
He parred the final seven holes to stay one behind Johnson and three ahead of Kevin Kisner (70) and Hideki Matsuyama (71), with McIlroy, Casey and Ryan Moore one further adrift.
McIlroy admitted he struggled with his swing from the start as he bogeyed the first two holes and erred again at the fifth before he halted the slide with a confident seven-foot putt for birdie at the next.
But he missed another fairway at the eighth and pulled his second into the water, although he did well to limit the damage to a bogey before staging a spirited comeback on the inward half.
The Deutsche Bank Championship winner holed from 12 feet at the 10th and set up another birdie with a delightful 100-yard pitch to two feet at the 12th, and he atoned for a poor approach to the 17th with a morale-boosting 20-foot putt for a welcome three.
McIlroy mis-hit his second to the last after a monster 360-yard drive and walked off with a disappointing par, which could have been worse after he pitched to 15 feet and raced his birdie putt five feet beyond the target.
Casey struggled to make much happen as he offset two birdies with a pair of bogeys in a workmanlike 70 while Moore, another player on Love's radar for Hazeltine, birdied two of the last three holes to return a creditable 68.
Russell Knox is tied eighth on 139 after rounds of 73 and 66

Par 140 (2x70). Players from USA unless stated
133 Dustin Johnson 66 67
134 Kevin Chappell 66 68
137 Kevin Kisner 67 70, Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) 66 71
138 Ryan Moore 70 68, Paul Casey (England) 68 70, Rory McIlroy (N Ireland) 68 70

139 Russell Knox (Scotland) 73 66 (T8)





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