CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - For Jason Day, the scene at the 18th was a flashback to his youth, and the boyish hug he gave Dustin Johnson as they hurried down the fairway was pure joy over sneaking in a last hole as darkness fell.
Day, Johnson and playing partner Henrik Stenson hurried through just after the horn sounded to suspend play for the day due to failing light in the weather-interrupted second round.
Johnson hustled into position at the 18th tee to hit a tee shot for the group, which allowed them to complete the hole and avoid having to return early on Saturday to finish.
Day threw his arm around the neck of world number one Johnson and laughed in glee as they rushed down the fairway.
”On 17 I was off the green. And we were walking up, and we were talking about like if we can get a tee shot on 18 we could finish the round. And DJ is like, ‘I’ll do it.’
”As soon as he teed off we all kind of flushed it down 18,“ said Day, who ran down the fairway to save time. ”And I just walked up to him and said, ‘That’s the biggest, or most clutch thing I’ve ever seen anyone do for me’.
“I had to give him a hug for it. He was happy, as well. Obviously to be able to finish and not have to wake up at 5:30 (A.M.) tomorrow, get some rest.”
Added Day: “I do remember finishing in the dark a lot when I was a kid, not thinking that I was going to be running down the 18th hole at a major championship.”
At the ninth hole, Rod Pampling took a similar course of action but with a different result. The Australian raced to the tee and took a wild swipe at the ball, slashing it left into trees in order to beat the horn.
Pampling was not that upset, however, as he had no chance of making the cut. He finished on 14-over-par, the same score as playing partner Thomas Pieters, while Xander Schauffele, the other member of the group, was one shot better on 13-over.
All three players finished with a double bogey on the hole.
Editing by Peter Rutherford