Day, Scott in contention at Tour Championship

World number one Jason Day has leapt in to contention at the Tour Championship with a two-putt birdie at the par 5, 18th leaving him just a shot off the pace.

The Australian fired an opening round 3-under 67, which included a bogey at the first hole, to sit behind Dustin Johnson, Kevin Chappell and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama at East Lake today.

“I feel good. There was a couple of drives out there where…I felt a bit of a sharp pain in my back. That’s why some of the drives went a little bit…but, you know, the ones that didn’t, I drove it pretty good. The putter was nice today. It was on, which is good,” said Day.

“To be able to shoot 3 under in some of the positions that I was in, get up and down where I was getting up and down from, I’m pretty pleased with.”

“I’d like to give Dustin a good run for it. To be honest, to be able to put my name on the FedEx trophy is one of my goals in my golf career. This is starting to become a very big thing for all of us to be able to become a FedEx champion is huge.”

Fellow Australian, Adam Scott, was also eyeing a top 5 finish today but late bogeys at the par 4 16th and 17th holes saw him fall back to equal 11th place alongside Olympian Matt Kuchar on one-under 69.

Former world number ones, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, share 7th place at 2-under 68 with McIlroy clawing his way back from two double-bogeys on the front nine with four straight birdies from the 12th hole.

“There wasn’t a lot of 4s on the scorecard, that’s for sure. The two doubles just came from a couple of poor shots headed in the rough both times. When you miss fairways here…you’re going to struggle. It’s really tough out of the rough, and you lose all control of your ball,” said McIlroy.

While Johnson is in ominous form, there is plenty of golf left to play just yet. Scott and Day fell back slightly in the projected standings following round one but all top five FedExCup players are still well within reach of a massive payday on Sunday.