THE Tiger Woods and Jason Day show continued at the 2011 Emirates Australian Open today with the young Australian hoping it is a battle that will still be going down the final stretch on Sunday.
After two years the golfing wilderness, Woods is finally leading a tournament, sitting at 9-under one stroke ahead of Peter O’Malley.
Day is on 7-under and has relished playing for two days in front of huge galleries at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney.
“Playing against him on Sunday in front of the home crowd in the Australian Open, a tournament I have always wanted to win, would definitely be a dream come true,” the 24 year old said.
With around 18,000 people attending the event on Friday, many of them following the Woods/Day and Robert Allenby pairing, organisers are expecting total attendance around the 70,000 mark.
“There are a lot of people out there. I was just talking to Rob’s caddie on the eighth hole and I was amazed at how many people came out to watch us. It felt great,” Day said.
And while Woods, who he admitted was a childhood idol (“I had posters of his swing on my wall. I read books about him. He changed my life because I worked harder after I read his book.”)seemed to be getting back to his best, Day obviously fancies his chances.
“It would be a good battle, I think. I feel like I am hitting it pretty well. If I can tighten up the putting a bit I think I might give him a good run for his money.”
For his part, Woods sounded like a confident man who had his golfing mojo back. He started the day at 4-under and shot a 5-under par round of 67.
”I’m playing like I am playing at home [in practice]. It has finally come to the golf course in a tournament setting. I have been hitting it like this at home but it hasn’t come out in a tournament setting yet. That’s the best progression. I have been through swing changes before. That’s what’s happened. It takes a little time but once it starts coming the confidence starts building,” Woods said.
Woods was impressed with the Sydney crowds.
“It feels great. To have everyone so fired up. Jason is playing well too at the same time. We have an Aussie here. We certainly had the crowds cheering, which was great.”
Those missing the cut included Presidents Cup participants Matt Kuchar and Robert Allenby.2011 Australian Open Leaderboard