21 Sep 2015

Day closes in on number one ranking

8:26 am on 21 September 2015

Jason Day stayed on track for his fourth victory in six starts and the world No.1 ranking when he earned a six-stroke lead after the third round of the latest PGA playoff.

The golf world number one Australian Jason Day.

The golf world number one Australian Jason Day. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Australian was far from his very best, but a two-under-par 69 at Conway Farms in Illinois was enough to increase his lead after he started the day five shots clear.

He posted a 20-under 193 total with one round left in the third of the PGA Tour's four playoff events.

Americans Scott Piercy (67) and Daniel Berger (70) shared second place at 14-under.

Rotorua's Danny Lee posted a dissapointing third round two over par 73 to fall to a tie for 41st.

He's three under for the tournament, 17 strokes behind Day.

The World number three Day, in posting the largest 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour this year, set himself up to claim the world number one ranking.

If he wins on Monday, he will overtake current top dog Rory McIlroy, who shot 67 to be fourth at 13-under.

Day would also be the 19th player to earn top ranking, and the third Australian after Greg Norman and Adam Scott.

"I felt like I shot 80," Day told reporters.

"So to be able to squeak out with a 69 and really feel like I got everything that I possibly could out of today's round, I think that was the best score I could have shot.

"It was a little clouded today, so I'm hoping that it's a lot more free tomorrow and I can just kind of think to myself and really kind of just push forward and not really worry about who's around me like I did today."

If the 27-year-old Day can convert the large lead it will be his fifth win of the year after the including the PGA Championship his first major title.

He would be the first international player with five wins on the American circuit since Vijay Singh, of Fiji, won nine times in 2004.

"I told everyone when I first came out that I wanted to become number one and everyone kind of laughed, and that's okay. That's kind of the dream that I've always had and now I've got an opportunity," Day said.