Day hopes Big Phil thrill inspires PGA charge
AUSTRALIA'S Jason Day believes his his quest for a second major title title has been boosted by his high-profile US PGA Championship grouping with Phil Mickelson.
Former world No.1 Day is well used to marquee pairings and the enormous crowds the game's biggest drawcards attract.
Last week, he played his way into weekend contention at the WGC-Bridgestone while alongside Tiger Woods in the opening rounds before fading to tie for 10th.
This week, 2015 US PGA Championship winner Day will be beside five-time major champion Mickelson and 2011 PGA champion Keegan Bradley at Missouri's Bellerive Country Club.
During his title defence in 2016, Day was paired with Mickelson for the first two days at Baltusrol and eventually finished runner-up to Jimmy Walker by one shot.
The Queenslander hopes it can help him go one better this time.
"I'm looking forward to playing with Phil," Day said.
"I remember playing with him at Baltusrol (in 2016) - he always brings a big crowd.
"But when you have a big crowd, it forces you to focus in a lot more, so I'm happy about that."
Fellow Aussie Adam Scott has also been assigned a marquee group, joining fellow two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson and world No.1 Dustin Johnson.
Former world No.1 Scott hopes playing 36 holes with two of the best drivers of the golf ball - who each have three US Tour titles this year - rubs off on him after a poor display from the tee at the WGC-Bridgestone.
"I need to hit fairways - I had 20-footers for par for more of last week than I'd like because I was constantly playing out of the rough," Scott said.
"I was hoping for a better result at Firestone because my game was looking good at the (British) Open.
"I've got a big stretch of golf coming up, starting at the PGA.
"But I'm putting good, so I just need to get the ball in play and then I'll be fine."
Fellow Queenslander Cameron Smith will play alongside Peter Uihlein and Ryan Armour, while Marc Leishman will join Tommy Fleetwood and Japan's Satoshi Kodaira.
Aussie Craig Hocknull, a US-based club pro who was one of 20 to qualify through the PGA Professionals Championship, will play with Austin Cook and Alexander Bjork.