Jason aims for repeat win to make his Day
SPRINGFIELD, UNITED STATES
SEVERE thunderstorms drenched Baltusrol with heavy rain on Monday, cutting short the first practice session for the 98th PGA Championship and soaking greens that had been fast in afternoon heat.
Officials halted play at 4.38pm and had spectators seek shelter, several dozen huddling in the massive souvenir tent until a break between storms allowed them to leave.
It was a signal that players could face a lot of extremes in this week's quest for the Wanamaker Trophy, with forecasts for hot conditions until storms are set to return for the weekend.
World number one Jason Day of Australia will try to defend his first major title, which he won last year at Whistling Straits.
He has bagged seven titles in the past year and flirted with major success, sharing 10th at the Masters and eighth at the US Open.
His mindset is less about repeating as champion, especially on a different course, than it is about achieving new feats.
"I never really look at it as defending," he said. "I try to win it again. That's the mentality."
Day will play the first two rounds alongside four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, the 2014 PGA Championship winner, and Phil Mickelson, the 46-year-old US left-hander who won the last PGA Championship played at Baltusrol in 2005.
Mickelson battled British Open winner Henrik Stenson into the final holes before settling for second to the Swede at Royal Troon two weeks ago.
US Open winner Dustin Johnson will play tomorrow and on Friday alongside Stenson and Masters champion Danny Willett of England in the annual threesome of the season's prior major winners.
Each won his first major this year - and none of them wants to see another first-timer take the trophy this week.