His body is responding and swing changes are bedding in which is why Jason Day’s confidence that his best is not far away continues to build.
The 35-year-old is in a tie for third through two rounds of The American Express in California and with the very real prospect of adding to his 12 PGA TOUR wins to date.
At 13-under he trails American Davis Thompson by five strokes, who followed on from an opening 62 with an eight-under 64 at the Nicklaus Tournament Course on day two.
Day matched Thompson’s score but on the designated host course, the Pete Dye Stadium Course, and will now head to La Quinta Country Club for his third round.
La Quinta historically yields more birdies than the other two courses but Day remains focused on the few swing keys that he and coach Chris Como have been implementing the past two seasons.
Part of those changes were to relieve pressure on the back issues that have plagued the former world No.1’s career of late, changes that his body has responded positively to.
It’s now a matter of continuing to move forward to the point where the swing can simply do its thing.
“The body is almost there. It’s more so the swing now,” Day said after a second round that featured six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 eighth.
“It’s more swing-related stuff. Kind of like really cementing the changes in. That way that I can just go out there and see a pin and just hit at it.
“Instead of focusing on like a few key areas where I actually have to focus on to be able to create or hit a shot.
“So really, really close.”
Currently ranked 115th in the world, Day’s game has been showing signs of life for the past 12 months.
He was tied for third at Torrey Pines last January and had a run of four tournaments late in the year where his worst finish was a tie for 21st, his best a tie for eighth at the Shriners Children’s Open.
Such has been his progress he is not ruling out a return to the No.1 spot in future.
“I’m hoping that I’m doing the right things to not only get back there, but get back there healthy and I can hopefully stay there a lot longer than what I did,” said Day.
“I feel like I’ve been in a good spot for a while where I could just focus on a few key things in my swing and my body and that has, I guess, brought some consistency.
“I got to just kind of slowly bleed this stuff in and then hopefully six months down the road, a year down the road, then everything’s just firing on all cylinders and I can go out there and freewheel it a little bit.”
The other three Australians in the field all spent Round 2 at La Quinta, Aaron Baddeley’s 68 the best of them to rise 29 spots to a share of 78th at five-under.
Harrison Endycott is tied for 34th following a round of one-under 71, Cam Davis posting the same score as he sits in a tie for 120th.