Ace gesture as Day donates car prize

CHICAGO (Illinois) • A "lucky" hole-in-one vaulted golf's former world No. 1 Jason Day into a share of second place with American Rickie Fowler at the BMW Championship on Friday, as fellow Australian Marc Leishman fired a seven-under 64 to stretch his lead to three.

Day, seeking his first victory in more than a year, carded a 65 at the Conway Farms Golf Club in Illinois, benefiting from what he called a "lucky" hole-in-one at the 188-yard par-three 17th hole.

"We were trying to land it 182 (yards) and I kind of pushed it," said the 29-year-old, who won the 2015 title at Conway Farms.

"It's been, I think, 10 years since the last time I had a hole-in-one."

For his feat, Day will be awarded a BMW M760i, reported golf.com.

He will donate the sedan to Evans Scholars Foundation, which funds college education for young caddies, as he has a sponsorship with Lexus. BMW will also donate US$100,000 (S$134,500) to the Western Golf Association and Evans.

Leishman, after his only bogey of the day at the par-three 17th hole, birdied the par-five 18th hole to complete 36 holes at 126.

"I'm pretty happy with backing up a 62 with a 64," said Leishman.

Fowler also finished strongly, with three birdies and an eagle for a 64.

At the Evian Championship in France, South Korean Park Sung Hyun grabbed the first-round lead on Friday after bad weather wiped out her poor start a day earlier.

The US Women's Open champion mixed seven birdies with an eagle and a bogey for an eight-under 63 to take a two-shot lead over Thailand's Moriya Jutanugarn.

Park made a nightmarish start to the women's final Major of the year on Thursday when she was six over through five holes in wind and rain, but the LPGA wiped away scores after a weather suspension and shortened the championship to 54 holes.

Swede Anna Nordqvist and Australia's Katherine Kirk were three shots behind Park.

Women's British Open champion Kim In Kyung, Jessica Korda and Marina Alex were a further shot back.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

BMW CHAMPIONSHIP
Day 4, StarHub Ch204, 11.55pm

EVIAN CHAMPIONSHIP
Day 4, Singtel TV Ch115 & StarHub Ch209, 5.30pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 17, 2017, with the headline 'Ace gesture as Day donates car prize'. Print Edition | Subscribe