Australia's world No.1 Jason Day has started well in the Tour Championship tournament at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Australia's world No.1 Jason Day has started well in the Tour Championship tournament at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. David Goldman

Day, Scott start well for big cash

GOLF: Australians Jason Day and Adam Scott are well in the hunt for a massive payday after the first round of the season-ending US PGA Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

Day, the world No.1, had a three-under 67 to be in a three-way tie for fourth one shot off the pace, while Scott ended with two bogeys for a one-under 69.

Americans Dustin Johnson and Kevin Chappell, and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama share the lead on 66.

The winner's cheque for this even is $A1.96 million, but there's also a $A13 million bonusfor finishing first in the season's FedExCup rankings.

Day was pleased with this round, considering the occasional sharp pain he felt in his back when he hit his driver.

"When I get to the top of the swing, as soon as my hips start to unfold and then there's that little bit of separation,” Day said.

"It just crunches down. It just hurts.”

Thursday was Day's first competitive round since he withdrew after nine holes at the BMW Championship. He started with a bogey but quickly got back on track, making four birdies over his next 17 holes.

"It's not 100%, but who is 100% out here that's playing right now?” Day told pgatour.com.

"A lot of guys are playing with some sort of injury. I'm just a little worse off than most guys. But it's not an excuse.”

Johnson is Day's main competition for Player of the Year honours.

Both have won three times and entered the Tour Championship ranked in the top five - meaning they win the FedExCup with a win at East Lake on Sunday.

A short birdie miss on the 18th left Scott with a 69, tied 11th at one under.

"I played a good round of golf today,” Scott said.

"It's a hard course and under par is pretty good so I'm in good shape.”



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