Binoculars weren’t enough for Jason Day to clearly identify his ball when he became lodged in a bird’s nest at Bay Hill, but a photographer with a huge zoom lens had the solution!
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 05/03/21 8:51pm
Jason Day was grateful for the assistance of a media photographer after his ball became lodged in a tree on day two of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Day had enjoyed a good start to his second round at Bay Hill and was a couple under par before he was involved in a bizarre incident on the par-five 16th, where he blocked his drive towards the trees on the right.
It was established that his ball had lodged in a bird’s nest, but he would still need to identify that it was indeed his ball in order to be entitled to a penalty drop at the foot of the tree for an unplayable lie. If he could not confirm it was his ball, he would have had to go back to the tee to play his third.
A rules official happened to have some binoculars handy, but they lacked the magnification required for Day to get a clear view of the ball in the nest.
But a nearby photographer, armed with a huge zoom lens on his camera, was able to provide a clear picture of the Australian’s ball, which he was relieved to confirm was the ball he had hit off the tee.
“I don’t know where the rules official got the binoculars from, but it was actually the photographer that came in and zoomed in on it,” explained Day afterwards. “I could see the logo on the side and I’m like, ‘That’s it, that’s perfect’.
“So it was a little unfortunate that it got stuck up there, and it was literally in a nest, so I was thinking the mama birdie was going to come back and find another egg there!”
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Day compounded one mistake with another as he ran up a double-bogey seven, and he also made a mess of the 18th following a perfect drive and carded a six to drop back to level par for the tournament, although he did recover with three birdies on the front nine only to drop another shot at his closing hole.
“It was more of a gut punch on 18 than 16,” added Day, the 2016 champion. “To go double, par, double, and then I just realised there were opportunities on the front side because that’s where Rory went low yesterday.
“There were a number of guys that went low, so there’s two par-fives you can get birdie chances at and some opportunities elsewhere, but you just got to say, ‘OK, new nine, just relax, don’t do anything silly’. So you just got to keep pushing along.”
Source : Sky Sports