Day's 67 puts him in contention at Wells Fargo Championship

Day's 67 puts him in contention at Wells Fargo Championship

Day's 67 puts him in contention at Wells Fargo Championship

Just about every big name in golf is at the Wells Fargo Championship, and just about every one of them is well behind leader Peter Malnati. The Northern Irishman, who has four other top-10 finishes at the Wells Fargo Championship and holds the course and tournament records, has been installed as the 15/2 favourite in the betting to win his second PGA Tour event inside the last two months.

Aaron Wise, the 2016 NCAA college champion, is tied for second with former world No1 Jason Day, with 2011 Masters victor Charl Schwarzel and England's Paul Casey a shot further back.

This week, Lowry is priced at odds of 125/1 to land the prize at the Wells Fargo, a tournament he finished 24th in past year, marking one of his better displays of 2017.

But sometimes the mind works in mysterious ways. This is his seventh PGA Tour start since returning from a fourth back surgery, and Woods said he now is used to the rhythm and flow of tournament golf.

"I just don't enjoy the travel out here very much", he told Golf Channel.

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Tiger Woods has just teed off and is level par for his opening three holes.

"I feel more comfortable on faster greens", he added.

Woods birdied the final hole to move to two over overall, with Mickelson, McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and US Open champion Brooks Koepka lying alongside him. "I made some good swings and hit some good putts".

"I've struggled, struggled with the greens being as slow as they are and today I tried to make sure I hit the putts harder and I just kept pulling them", he said. I remember all those. I like it a lot out here. "I thought he made some good strokes out there". I would take one of those tournaments right now if you gave them to me. That's not what you would expect. He is followed by Justin Thomas at $11,300, Rickie Fowler ($11,100), and Jason Day ($10,200).

The 28-year-old is never one to mince his words, but he has never made his desire to win the Masters and his love for the tournament clearer.

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Last year's US PGA Championship victor at Quail Hollow, Justin Thomas managed a 69 to get back to even par.

Paired with young gun Ryan Ruffels, Day did most of the heavy lifting in the two rounds of four-ball in New Orleans making 10 birdies and an eagle for those 36 holes. He got a nice boost by finishing ninth in the limited-field tournament in the Bahamas and has steadily climbed into the top 100, now settling at 93rd. That 2007 victory seems a long time ago. "I just didn't make anything today".

"I'm kind of free-wheeling it at this point", he said.

Rory McIlroy turned 29 on Friday, but there was little to celebrate on the course.

Five bogeys saw Shane Lowry finish with an opening round 74, while Seamus Power also shot three over with both players sitting two shots off the projected cut. He made just two bogeys on the day and fell back to 2 over par.

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"I think once that starts to happen, then things are going to switch pretty quickly", Day said.

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