ATLANTA • Jason Day is losing his grip on the US PGA Tour's US$10 million (S$14 million) FedExCup bonus and world No. 1 ranking as Henrik Stenson took command at the halfway mark of the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Friday.
The US$8.25 million Tour Championship hosts the world's top 30 golfers in a hotly-contested final event for the PGA Tour calendar.
The FedExCup rewards the best performer in the PGA Tour throughout the season. And after a flourishing finish to the regular season, Day was nicely poised to take the hefty winner's bonus that comes with the Cup.
But, after arriving at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta on top of the world and the season-long points race following four wins in his last six starts, he has struggled.
Carding a one-below par 69 opening round, Day, who supplanted Rory McIlroy atop the world rankings after his win in the BMW Championship last Sunday, erred again on day two. His 71 leaves him at 140 and nine shots behind leader and FedExCup rival Stenson.
Day 4: StarHub Ch204, 10pm
It was just the second over-par effort from Day in his last 30 rounds.
Stenson, who won the FedExCup in 2013 and is guaranteed the bonus again if he goes on to win the tournament, shot 68 to move to 131, three clear of his nearest rival.
He is trying to join Tiger Woods as the only players to win the FedExCup twice, said the drizzly weather made for tough playing conditions.
Former world No. 1 Jordan Spieth, who will also claim the bonus with a win and can retake top spot in the world with victory and help from Day, made his move with a sublime 66.
He is in second place at 134 while England's Paul Casey (70) is third, a shot further back.
British Open winner Zach Johnson (70) sits fourth while Australian Steven Bowditch's 69 left him tied with McIlroy (71) in fifth at 137.
If Spieth wins and Day is outside the top five, the American would return to No. 1.
McIlroy can also retake top spot if he wins and Day is outside the top 15.
THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE