D-Day close as BMW victory, No. 1 within reach

Jason Day of Australia reacts after putting for birdie during the third round of the BMW Championship.
Jason Day of Australia reacts after putting for birdie during the third round of the BMW Championship.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LAKE FOREST (Illinois) • Jason Day stayed on track for his fourth victory in six starts and the world No. 1 ranking when he earned a six-stroke lead after the third round at golf's BMW Championship on Saturday.

The Australian was far from his best, but a two-under 69 at Conway Farms was enough to increase his lead after he started the day five shots clear.

He posted a 193 total with one round left in the third of the PGA Tour's four FedExCup play-off events.

Americans Scott Piercy (67) and Daniel Berger (70) shared second place on 199.

World No. 3 Day, in posting the largest 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour this year, also set himself up to claim the world No. 1 ranking.

If he wins this morning (Singapore time), he will overtake current top dog Rory McIlroy, who shot 67 to be fourth on 200.

Day would also become the 19th player to earn the top ranking, and the third Australian to do so after Greg Norman and Adam Scott.

"I felt like I shot 80," Day said. "So to be able to squeak out with a 69 and really feel like I got everything that I possibly could out of today's round, I think that was the best score I could have shot.

"It was a little clouded today, so I'm hoping that it's a lot more free tomorrow and I can just kind of think to myself and really kind of just push forward and not really worry about who's around me like I did today."

If the 27-year-old can convert the large lead, it will be his fifth win of the year after the Farmers Insurance Open, Canadian Open, PGA Championship (his first Major title) and the Barclays, the latter three coming in his last five starts.

He would be the first international player with five wins on the American circuit to his credit since Vijay Singh of Fiji won nine times in 2004.

"I told everyone when I first came out that I wanted to become No. 1 and everyone kind of laughed, and that's okay.

"That's kind of the dream that I've always had and now I've got an opportunity," Day said.

"It's a life-long dream. There are so many good things and good perks that come with being No. 1 but it won't happen if I don't win tomorrow, so I have to focus on the stuff that I've done to get to this point, and I think if I can do that, then I'll be able to pull off a win tomorrow." REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2015, with the headline 'D-Day close as BMW victory, No. 1 within reach'. Print Edition | Subscribe