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Jason Day plays course unseen

Springfield, New Jersey — Jason Day’s plan to defend his PGA Championship took a turn he wasn’t expecting.

It is rare for a player considered one of the favorites in a major not to see the golf course until the day before the tournament starts, but that’s how the world’s No. 1-ranked player will try to handle Baltusrol Golf Club, the site of this year’s PGA Championship.

“I haven’t played a practice round. I haven’t seen the course. I don’t know what it looks like,” Day said Wednesday before heading out for a practice round. “I was with Doug Steffen, the head pro, last night at the champions’ dinner. I went through pretty much every hole with him for about 20, 30 minutes, kind of going over all the holes. I’m going to try and touch them all today, but obviously the prep’s been a little on the lighter side. So I need to come in and try to get a good, solid 18 holes in today so I kind of know where I’m going.”

Day’s plan had always been to take Monday off. Tuesday became a day of tending to a sick family and himself.

“Dash and Lucy (his children) are sick right now, and kind of Dash passed that on to me a little bit,” Day said. “I’m OK. I’m fine. I’m just a little bit under the weather. Ellie (his wife) had an allergic reaction last night and had to go to the hospital. We were there until 2 o’clock or something like that. So I’m kind of running on ‘E’ right now. She’s fine. Everything was great.”

The 28-year-old Australian has eight wins in 2015 and 2016, but he hasn’t had a good first round in any of the majors this year, which makes his having two Top Ten finishes in them all the more impressive.