Australian golfer Jason Day is currently tied for the 54-hole lead at four-under-par at the U.S. Open after firing a solid two-under 68 in his third round Saturday afternoon. Day, the two time runner up at the U.S. Open, is eyeing his first major championship victory as he sits atop the leaderboard with Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, and Branden Grace.
Day’s third round 68 was one of the best rounds on moving day — only six golfers were able to break 70 under the difficult conditions at Chambers Bay. Jason’s play was made all the more spectacular considering the fact that he was battling with vertigo throughout his round.
Day, who collapsed on the ninth fairway during Friday’s second round due to vertigo, needed on course treatment from officials to recover, but the dizziness and nausea returned once again during Saturday’s third round. There were doubts as to whether Jason could even continue to play the weekend with his present condition.
The Guardian reports that in a post round interview, a nauseated Jason Day told reporters that he battled through severe dizziness on the back nine and even started shaking uncontrollably on the 16th hole.
“I didn’t feel that great coming out early, and then I felt pretty groggy on the front nine just from the drugs that I had in my system. Then I kind of flushed that out on the back nine. But then it kind of came back, the vertigo came back a little bit on the 13th tee box, and then I felt nauseous all day. I started shaking on the 16th tee box and then just tried to get it in, really. I just wanted to get it in.”
Day, who seemed to have suffered the worst of his vertigo on his inward nine, actually fired a stellar four-under 31 on his final nine holes, birding three out of the last four holes on his homeward stretch. According to stats provided by the USGA, the 27-year-old Day hit 11 of 14 fairways and 13 out of 18 greens on Saturday, needing only 30 putts to get the ball in the cup. He rolled in an 18 foot putt for birdie on the 122 yard 17th hole, and then followed with another clutch six foot putt on the final par-five 18th hole to close out his round.
Now, Day finds himself atop the leaderboard and in the final pairing on Sunday, trying to secure his first U.S. Open victory. Day will have to navigate the hard, fast fairways and the undulating greens at Chambers Bay, endure the pressure of a U.S. Open down the stretch of this final round, and battle with his vertigo, if he is to come out on top come Sunday afternoon.
[Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images]