Jason Day stroke back in Houston Open, with Johnson lurking

National Sports

HOUSTON (AP) — Jason Day stumbled at the end at difficult Memorial Park, three-putting for bogey on the par-4 18th to fall a stroke behind Sam Burns in the Houston Open.

“Unfortunately, I just gave it a little bit too much gas,” Day said.

Winless in 2 1/2 years and fighting lingering back and neck problems, Day shot a 3-under 67 on Saturday to remain in contention in the final event before the Masters.

“Overall, it was a solid day,” the Australian star said. “I think I drove it nice, hit a lot of good iron shots and I was just very patient out there today, so it was good to see. Looking forward to tomorrow.”

Sam Burns shot a 68 to hold onto the lead at 9-under 201.

“I think this golf course, it’s not a matter of if, it it’s a matter of when, when this golf course will hit you,” Burns said. “I think for me, just being able to hang in there.”

He eagled the par-5 eighth.

“I kind of necked the tee shot, but fortunately it stayed in the first cut,” Burns said.

Day had five birdies and two bogeys.

“I was just trying to be as patient as possible,” Day said. “I know it’s a Saturday round. Obviously, can’t win it today. You’ve got to just give yourself an opportunity to get into tomorrow’s round.”

Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz was tied with Day after a 67. Sepp Straka (66) was 7 under.

Dustin Johnson, needing to finish solo 15th or better to remain No. 1 in the world, was 6 under after a 66 in his return from the coronavirus.

Aaron Wise (69) and Dawie van der Walt (69) joined Johnson at under.

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