Day ready for McIlroy challenge

Jason Day 20090590Jason Day admits Rory McIlroy is still the man to beat at the US PGA Championship but is relishing the weekend challenge at Valhalla (Day 5/1 – In-Play Winner).

Day has suffered an injury and illness-plagued campaign this year but bounced back with a superb six-under-par 65 on Friday to sit on -8 at the halfway stage of the year’s final major.

He is tied for second with US veteran Jim Furyk (8/1), with the pair just one stroke behind McIlroy (Evens favourite), who added a 67 to his opening 66 in Kentucky to sit on -9.

There are plenty of big names near the top of the leaderboard, with US duo Ryan Palmer (40/1) and Rickie Fowler (13/2) joining Finland’s Mikko Ilonen (40/1) on seven-under, while Phil Mickelson (12/1) rallied to reach -6 alongside Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger (66/1) after 36 holes.

It looks set to be a fascinating weekend in Louisville, with Saturday’s ‘moving day’ key to the chances of the top stars as they jostle for position ahead of Sunday’s final round.

Day has been one of the most consistent players in the majors over the past five years but has yet to taste success and is determined to keep plugging away to finally get over the line.

“I’ve been close a lot of times,” said the Australian. “I’ve said it before, I just have to keep knocking on the door and hopefully it will fall my way one day.”

McIlroy is currently in the form of his life and is looking for back-to-back majors after his sensational display to win the Open Championship.

But, while Day acknowledges that the Northern Irishman holds all the aces, he insists it is far from a one-horse race with two rounds still to play.

“I’m clearly not the favourite with how Rory is playing, especially over the last few tournaments,” he added. “It’s going to be tough to beat him, but then again there’s a lot of great golfers behind us that are in form, as well.”

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