Day burning up Coolum

Korean Joon-woo Choi has grabbed the early clubhouse lead at the Australian PGA with as 66, but Jason Day is charging hard.

South Korea’s Joon-woo Choi has grabbed the early clubhouse lead at the Australian PGA with as 66, but with Jason Day burning up the Coolum course, he might not still be there at day’s end.

Day, one of Australia’s most exciting major prospects, seems to have shrugged away his relatively ordinary form at last week’s President’s Cup and currently looms as a major threat to the course record of 62 after blazing through the turn in just 31 strokes, thanks to six birdies and a bogey.

Adam Scott, Australia’s highest ranked golfer right now, is also in the frame after a horror back nine that included a triple bogey, a double bogey and a pair of bogeys that left him at plus five.

Undaunted, Scott showed great courage and tenacity to hit back on the front nine – he had teed off on the 10th – with six birdies in seven holes to the 7th to finish with a 70.

Scott’s woes stemmed largely from three visits to the water in four holes from the 11th.

Choi, in the meantime, was another who didn’t have a perfect day, dropping a shot on either side of the turn, but he otherwise found the course to his liking as he also collected an eagle and four birdies.

Also back in the clubhouse just a shot adrift of Choi on 67 was American Presidents Cup star Bubba Watson, who had six birdies and a bogey, and New South Welshman Aaron Townsend who had five birdies on a flawless day.

Victorian Marcus Fraser, Kiwi Josh Geary and Kang-chun Wu from China are tied for fifth at 4-under while British Open champion Darren Clarke, triple Australian PGA winner Robert Allenby, the International Presidents Cup star KT Kim and Aaron Baddeley are among a large group in eighth place at three under.

Rain has started to fall as the afternoon wears on and the temperature has dipped to about 24 degrees, but predicted storms have not yet arrived even though thunder has been heard rumbling and the south-easterly wind is now gusting at close to 30km/h.