PGA Tour Championship: Jason Day in the mix as Leishman struggles

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JASON Day and Marc Leishman have promised to come out guns blazing in the second round of the Tour Championship after falling back of the lead on day one.

The Australian contingent at the FedEx Cup finale seemed to cool down after hot campaigns at last week’s BMW Championship, where Leishman claimed a dominant victory and Day bagged fourth.

World No. 6 Day fought hard against a sluggish start featuring two early bogeys on day one of the Tour Championship, signing for a one-under-par 69 to be five shots back of leader Kyle Stanley.

Jason Day of Australia walks on the first green during the first round of the Tour Championship.

Jason Day of Australia walks on the first green during the first round of the Tour Championship.Source:Getty Images

Stanley’s 64 gave him a two-shot lead over fellow Americans Daniel Berger, Webb Simpson and US Open winner Brooks Koepka, as well as Englishman Paul Casey, who all signed for 66s to tie for second at four-under.

A shot back in a share of sixth sits FedEx leader Jordan Spieth and fellow top five seeds Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm (all 67).

With 267 yards into the par-5 18th for his second shot from the rough, Day copped a cruel break, with his approach clipping a small tree branch and finding the water hazard en route to a closing bogey.

But with a sensational stretch of five birdies from six holes in the middle of his round, Day knows he could go low on Friday.

Marc Leishman is off the pace after the first round of the Tour Championship.

Marc Leishman is off the pace after the first round of the Tour Championship.Source:AFP

“I just have to be patient because I made a ton of birdies out there,” Day told AAP.

“It’s all about hitting the fairways; you just make it so hard on yourself if your tee shots land in this thick bermuda rough.”

Leishman says he left himself in difficult spots, having not played the course since his last Tour Championship start in 2009.

“Now I’m back up to speed on where not to miss it and where the straight putts are on the greens, I think I’ve done enough work earlier in the week to shoot a low one,” said Leishman.

“The greens will be soft enough to go at pins. I just have to hit the fairways.”

Victorian native Leishman has a strong chance of claiming the rich FedEx Cup. Leishman is in the top five seeds, meaning the 33-year-old is guaranteed the $US10 million ($A12.6m) FedEx bonus prize if he wins the Tour Championship.

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