Tiger Woods has given observers a rare glimpse into his funny side with a brilliant comeback that put Jason Day firmly in his place.
The American and the Australian star were paired together in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and both put on superb showings in their second rounds.
Day fired a four-under-par 66 on day two to climb to nine under – two shots off the halfway pace set by English pair Ian Poulter and Tommy Fleetwood.
The seemingly ever-serious Woods was asked if the round Day had just played was the best he’s witnessed from the Australian in person.
“Of course it is,” Day could be heard yelling in the background before Tiger chimed in with a hilarious quip.
“No it’s probably the luckiest he’s ever gotten,” Woods said as roars of laughter went up around the pair.
The camera spun around to reveal a sheepish looking Day, who could only shake his head in the knowledge he’d been expertly stitched up by the former World No.1.
It was an eventful round for Day, who was praised for checking on a spectator whom he hit with a shot on the fifth hole.
— Rob Siewert (@RSiewert) August 4, 2018
Woods is firmly in contention after a second round 68 left him three shots off Day at six-under and a share of 10th place.
The American admits Day has the game and is in an ideal position to do something special over the remaining two rounds.
“I’ve seen him (Day) stripe it before and he’s certainly capable of hitting just so many good shots,” Woods said.
“He doesn’t really miss many putts. So you put those two things together on a golf course like this, he’s going to be in contention.”
Day – a 12-time US Tour winner – has admitted nerves were a big factor in his lacklustre results in previous competitive pairings with 14-time major winner Woods.
In the five previous occasions Day and Woods played together, Day missed the cut three times.
“He was my idol growing up, so it’s easy to be nervous in front of your idol and he’s so cut-throat he doesn’t even care; he’s not going to comfort you,” Day said of Woods, whose 68 left him sharing 10th at six under.
Those jitters looked to be resurfacing early on day two when Day wasted two early front-nine birdies with two bogeys before the turn.
But Day responded immediately with a birdie at the 10th and three more coming home.
The 30-year-old Queenslander believes overcoming those nerves gives him a confidence boost as he looks to finally claim a maiden title at Firestone.
“I feel like I’m not even putting my best and if I can do that I will definitely give myself a chance to win on Sunday,” said Day, statistically the best putter on the US Tour.
Meanwhile, Marc Leishman is next best of the Australians, sharing 10th at six-under having signed for a 69, while Wade Ormsby (71) and Cameron Smith (70) are at even par.
Adam Scott, the 2011 WGC-Bridgestone winner, had a day to forget with a 75 sinking his total to three over.