Golf great Nick Faldo has slammed Jason Day’s ‘‘crazy’’ decision that capped off a third-round implosion at the US PGA Championship.
World No.7 Day started the third round two shots off the pace, but crashed out of contention with a series of errors, notably a quadruple-bogey eight at Quail Hollow’s par-4 18th.
Day’s six-over 77 left him in a tie for 16th, seven shots behind playing partner and leader Kevin Kisner (72), who is at seven-under and one shot clear of Japan’s world No.3 Hideki Matsuyama (73) and fellow American Chris Stroud (71).
Justin Thomas (69) and 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen (71) share fourth a shot back at five-under.
Day’s nightmare round was epitomised by a strange decision on the par-4 18th hole to go for the green with his approach after finding trouble from the tee.
With a tree directly in front of him and needing to hit a sizeable hook off pine straw around a swath of trees, the Australian blocked his second shot into a shrub and had to take a penalty drop en route to his crippling quadruple-bogey.
Doing television commentary, six-time Major winner Faldo was highly critical of 2015 PGA Championship winner Day.
‘‘You are kidding me? (It’s) one of the craziest decisions I’ve ever seen,’’ Faldo said.
‘‘I’d love to know what he thought he could really do with that second shot.
‘‘It should be a (bogey) five. That’s what you’re meant to think. Then you’re four back ... maybe three.’’
It soured a brief comeback during which Day bagged three consecutive birdies from the par-4 14th that kept him in the hunt, despite dropping four shots through 13 holes.
‘‘It’s unfortunate. (Jason) played good coming in and then gave it all away, so that’s tough,’’ Kisner said.
Fellow Australians Adam Scott and Marc Leishman were well off the pace.
Leishman carded a respectable 71 to share 47th at four-over, while world No.17 Scott fell further with a 74 sinking him to eight-over and tied 68th.
Meanwhile, Day was not the only big name to stumble.
World No.2 Jordan Spieth’s (71) three-over total all but ruled the Texan out of completing golf’s career grand slam this week, after he added last month’s British Open to his 2015 Masters and US Open titles.
World No.4 Rory McIlroy (73) slumped to four-over, despite carrying pre-tournament favourite status courtesy of top five finishes in his past two starts and a superb record at host Quail Hollow.