Jason Day had a rough first eight holes to start his third round at the Wells Fargo on Saturday.
But he knew his wayward drives would go away and that’s exactly what happened starting at the ninth hole.
He made birdie there then cruised around the back nine on his way to taking control of the tournament. He’s the only man in double-digits under par. A second straight 67 put him at 10-under, two in front of Nick Watney and three clear of Bryson DeChambeau, Aaron Wise, Paul Casey and Peter Uihlein, who created an early buzz on moving day.
Uihlein, who started the day two-over, shot a mind-boggling 62, a shot off the course record and should probably be considered the new course record seeing as all concerned agree that this re-modeled Quail Hollow is much tougher than it used to be.
An overcast day and no morning winds set the stage for Uihlein, who had a perfect scorecard with seven birdies and an eagle. He shot straight to the top of the leaderboard as the afternoon players went off.
But it was Day who played the best of the late wave. After his birdie at nine, he found four more coming home as he bombed long, accurate drives.
“It was a bit of a struggle the first eight holes,” Day conceded. “Then I had a tap-in birdie at nine the a good drive at 10. The key is I stayed calm and patient. If I can find a lot more greens, I’m confident about tomorrow (Sunday). Tomorrow is going to be challenging. There are a lot of good players right there but I’d rather be in this position than chasing. ”
Overnight leader Peter Malnari struggled most of the day. He finished with a four-over par 75 and fell back to three-under.