LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Jason Day removed his shoes and rolled his pants up over his knees to wade through a creek, just like a kid on a warm summer day.
Except he was in the final group at the PGA Championship.
Day at least kept in range of Rory McIlroy going into the final round with a birdie on the last hole at Valhalla for a 2-under 69. Equally important to his chances was an unlikely par he made on the second hole of the third round.
The 26-year-old Australian hooked his tee shot so far left that it cleared a creek and landed in knee-high vegetation.
The ball was found, eventually, and the adventure began. He removed his shoes and waded across the creek into a swamp. He had his caddie, Colin Swatton, toss a wedge over the creek to him. He didn’t bother asking for his shoes.
“I was too lazy to actually get my shoes thrown over,” Day said. “I either hit it in my bare feet or put my shoes on and have to take my shoes off. I was like, ‘We’re going to be behind, way behind, so I may as well just hit it with no shoes on.’ ”
He blasted it out of the weeds and across the fairway into the rough, then hit a wedge out to 8 feet and made the putt.
“It was a great 4 there,” Day said. “A lucky 4.”
Three holes later, he was tied for the lead. It just didn’t last.
“Little disappointing today with the putter,” Day said.