While he won’t be around for the final two rounds 14-time major champion Tiger Woods pumped up Jason Day’s tilt as he left St Andrews.
Woods, winner at the historic venue in 2000 and 2005, left the Queenslander with a huge confidence boost after playing the opening two rounds together.
“We were coming up 18, I said, it’s the greatest walk in golf,” Woods explained after missing the cut in consecutive majors for the first time in his career.
“He (Day) says, yeah, it’s nice when you have an eight-shot lead, too (referencing Woods’ 2000 mauling). I said, `well, you just go ahead and go get that lead’. He’s playing well enough to do it.
“The greens are soft and receptive, and if you’re driving it well and driving it long, this golf course is very much gettable.”
Woods told AAP earlier this year he believed Day was very much a major winner in waiting.
“He’s going to win one, there’s no doubt about that. He’s got the talent. He’s got the game. He’s still so young,” Woods said of Day.
“He’s proven he can put in the time. He puts in the effort. He puts in the work. Him and Col (Swatton), they go at it pretty good and it is good stuff.
” It’s good to see him making the subtle changes that he needs to make, and he certainly has a lot more shots now than he used to, and I’m sure in a few more years, he will have even more in the arsenal.”
Day has long been a perennial contender in the majors, putting up eight top 10 finishes in 19 starts including three runner-ups, a third and a fourth.
He goes into round three at St Andrews just three off the lead of Dustin Johnson, the same margin he started behind at the midway point in the recent US Open before his memorable post-vertigo charge into the lead.
“It’s just slow steps, but I think the scoring conditions are going to be a lot more accessible, more playable, so there’s going to be a lot more guys moving up the leaderboard quicker,” Day said.
“I feel like I’m a young, fit bloke and I can power on. I really want to win a major so bad… I’ve just got to keep moving forward and take it hole by hole and get this done.