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Day goes cold at Open

Sport

Jason Day has already cast his focus to the defence of his US PGA Championship after rounding out Australia’s disappointing British Open campaign.

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Day ended the 145th Open as Australia’s leading performer at Royal Troon after closing with a one-under-par 70 to finish level with the card.

But his tie for 22nd still completed the country’s worst collective showing in six years and snapped the world No.1’s run of five straight top-10 finishes at the majors.

Day can’t wait to leave Scotland’s cold weather and slow greens behind and return to north America.

He will be defending two titles back to back starting on Thursday at the Canadian Open before heading to New Jersey for the PGA.

The Queenslander’s twin triumphs last year, climaxing at Whistling Straits with his long overdue major championship breakthrough, sparked an extraordinary run of eight wins in 18 events and rise to world No.1.

“I’m pumped to get back to some 90 degree [fahrenheit] weather. Don’t have to wear three or four layers on every day,” Day said.

“The greens are going to be very quick, so once I get in tonight, I’ll have a good rest and get into that.

“But obviously the PGA is the first time I’ve ever defended a major championship, so I’ll try and soak up the experience of what that entails.

“Once Thursday comes around, you have to go out there and execute and play good.

“Excited about that, but also excited to defend Canada as well.”

Adam Scott and Matt Jones are also looking forward to the PGA, which starts just 11 days after the Open in a congested schedule accommodating the Rio Olympics.

Jones, who held the halfway lead at Whistling Straits, tied for 39th at Troon and closed in style with a hole-out eagle from 175 metres in a 71 overnight, Australian time.

The reigning Australian Open champion was disappointed not to have finished better than four over for the tournament and said he planned on contending at Baltusrol.

“I putted good for nine holes and didn’t make anything for the rest of the week,” Jones said.

“I didn’t get up and down many times either, so I left a lot out there.

“But I’m looking forward to the PGA. I know I can compete. I’ve done it week in, week out so I know I’m ready.”

Scott said the season’s final major couldn’t come quickly enough after his quest for an elusive Claret Jug also ended with a 71 for a five-over total and equal 43rd spot.

“I finally made some birdies on the first few holes,” Scott rued after slow starts on the first three days cost the former Masters champion a top-10 at the Open for a fifth successive year.

“But I’m very encouraged by the way I hit the ball today. I finally felt I had things under control.

“I rolled a couple putts the last couple days a little better as well, so I go to the PGA encouraged with how I played. Feeling close every day.”

Marc Leishman (73) finished tied 53rd at seven over, Scott Hend (76) wound up in joint 72nd at plus five, while Greg Chalmers (85) was last of the 81 players who made the cut following his final-round howler.

-AAP

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