Tiger keeping a close eye on fast-finishing Day

Akron: Tiger Woods has anointed a fast-finishing Jason Day as the player to beat during the closing rounds at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio.

Woods, an eight time winner at Ohio's Firestone Country Club, has watched the Australian surge up the leaderboard while paired with Day for the first two rounds.

Tiger Woods is keeping an eye on Jason Day.

Tiger Woods is keeping an eye on Jason Day.

But after Day fired a four-under-par 66 on day two to climb to nine under, two shots off the halfway pace, Woods says he will keep one eye on the former world No.1.

"I've seen [Day] stripe it before and he's certainly capable of hitting just so many good shots," Woods said.

"He doesn't really miss many putts. So you put those two things together on a golf course like this, he's going to be in contention."

Day shares fourth place and will start the third round looking to reel in a three-way tie for the lead at 11 under held by England duo Ian Poulter (67) and Tommy Fleetwood (63), as well as world No.3 Justin Thomas (64).

Day, a 12-time US Tour winner, has admitted nerves were a big factor in his lacklustre results in previous competitive pairings with 14-time major winner Woods.

In the five previous occasions Day and Woods played together, Day missed the cut three times.

"He was my idol growing up, so it's easy to be nervous in front of your idol and he's so cut-throat he doesn't even care; he's not going to comfort you," Day said of Woods, whose 68 left him sharing 10th at six under.

Those jitters looked to be resurfacing early on day two when Day wasted two early front-nine birdies with two bogeys before the turn.

But Day responded immediately with a birdie at the 10th and three more coming home.

The 30-year-old Queenslander believes overcoming those nerves gives him a confidence boost as he looks to finally claim a maiden title at Firestone.

"I feel like I'm not even putting my best and if I can do that I will definitely give myself a chance to win on Sunday," said Day, statistically the best putter on the US Tour.

Marc Leishman was next best of the Australians, sharing 10th at six under having signed for a 69, while Wade Ormsby (71) and Cameron Smith (70) were at even par.

Adam Scott, the 2011 WGC-Bridgestone winner, had a day to forget with a 75 sinking his total to three over.


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