Day chasing Australian Open glory

25 November 2017 20:16:21 GMTPlus11

Jason Day carded a third-round two-under-par 69 to grab the 54-hole lead in the Australian Open on ten-under 203 as he seeks to lift the prestigious Stonehaven Cup for the first time.

The 31-year-old has endured a difficult 12 months in which he has lost the number one spot in the world rankings and failed, not only to win, but contend on a regular basis, so he is desperate to end 2017 on a high.

In windy conditions he pegged 13 straight pars before a pair of birdies at 14 and 15 saw him move to the top of the leaderboard. A bogey on 17 followed, but he atoned at the last to take a one-shot lead over Lucas Herbert heading into the final day. Swede Jonas Blixt and Matt Jones are a further two strokes back on seven-under.

Day famously found it difficult to win in the early stages of his career, but he's confident that lessons have been heeded.

"That's the thing," he said. "You have to learn to love the lead. A lot of guys have learned to win from behind because there's less pressure than being out in front.

"This is a great position to be in. You always learn from being in this position, no matter what the tournament is. I'd much rather be in this position than one stroke back."

A 14-time winner around the world, the Australian last lifted a trophy in May 2016. He's desperate to end that run and at the same time add his name to the list of his home Open's winners.

"You can look at it, the names on the Cup," Day added. "There's a lot of Hall of Fame members, a lot of future Hall of Fame members as well, great players. It would be nice to add my name to that list, but the hardest thing for me is you don't want to get ahead of yourself."

Further back in the field, world number two Jordan Spieth could only manage a one-under-par 70 which leaves him eight back of Day on two-under for the week. The biggest 54-hole deficit he has overcome was six strokes in the 2013 John Deere Classic.

"I need to sneak a few breaks," he admitted. "I need some magic on Sunday."

Day is 150/1 to complete victory in the tournament while Spieth is 150/1.

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