Jason Day surges at BMW Championship but still trails Marc Leishman

Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Golf

No one knew quite what to expect from Day this week after he stunned the golf world by removing longtime caddie, coach and mentor Colin Swatton from his bag. Not since a Wendy's Three-Tour Challenge event in 2012 had Day played without Swatton by his side.

His new looper is Luke Reardon, a close friend since their junior golf days in Queensland and a school roommate.

"I feel more excited having my buddy on the bag," Day said. "I think Luke was a little nervous starting (Thursday's round). I had to tell him to get out of people's lines and stuff. He's starting to find his way.

"He's seen me hit a boatload of shots. We played pretty much every Wednesday and Saturday together throughout our high school years. Being able to put my 100 percent trust in those conversations (about clubs) is the communication that's needed."

Reardon declined to comment after the round. Day credits Reardon for giving him the Tiger Woods instruction book, "How I Play Golf," and for supercharging his practice habits.

"He was actually better than me," Day said, "And he worked harder than anyone in the school. It gets light really early in Queensland, and he'd be up practicing at 4:30, 5. That's why I changed the way I practiced when I was a kid. He's one of the reasons I am here today."

Day's 65 was bettered by his fellow Aussie Leishman, who has birdied half of his 36 holes.

"Hopefully I can keep that going," he said. "It has been a fun two days. The weather's perfect and my game feels like it's in a really good spot in all aspects."

Conway Farms members view this as a tough track. So do their guests. But it's being set up to showcase the world's best players, and so far 59 of the 70 are under par.

"I don't think it's a pushover," Leishman said. "If you're spraying it a little bit and playing from the rough, there are (high) numbers to be had."

Or so he hears.

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