Jason Day admitted he played without trust in his swing and with some angst over a potential slow-play penalty as he fell away in the second round at the Masters.
The world No.5 started the round just three behind Jordan Spieth in a tie for second but walked off the 18th with a two-over 74 and now sits a distant 11 shots adrift of the 21-year-old American.
Day’s group of Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler were put on the clock on the front nine after falling behind the group ahead and Day was then slapped with a slow time warning on the eighth hole meaning he faced a one-stroke penalty if dinged again.
China’s Tianlang Guan was the last player penalised a stroke for slow play at Augusta National in 2013.
“As soon as we got put on the clock I got a bad time right away, so you are kind of rushing a little bit and I think it was my first timing this year so that was a little bit unlucky,” Day said.
“It’s hard as we had just hit out the bunker and you get to the top of the hill trying to work out stuff.
“Then you are kind of wary after you get a bad timing, if you get another one you get a stroke penalty, but regardless of being on the clock it was really hard to commit out there.”
Day’s commitment issues were with his swing, which he says is just slightly out of whack, allowing some doubts into his game.
The Queenslander now needs a huge round on Saturday to be in the conversation again, perhaps something like his 64 from the 2011 Masters.
“Before I shoot 64, I need to find something with my swing. I haven’t felt as comfortable as I should have, just a process, something’s not right where I can trust myself,” he said.
“I am going to go out today (to the range) and see if I can find something where I can go out and feel confident enough to not really fear where it is going, rather be excited to where it is going.”
Day, who has a couple of runner up finishes and a fourth at the US Open where conditions are notoriously tough, was hoping the Masters officials cranked up the difficulty of the course similarly so he could make a run back up the boards.
The harder the better. I would like that.