Day fades in Shriners Open after record front nine

The Shriners have seen miracles happen every day to the children they care for at their 22 hospitals across North America and Mexico.

A miracle almost took place in their golf tournament on Sunday.

Jason Day started the final round of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open seven shots behind co-leaders Ryan Moore, Brendon de Jonge and Jonas Blixt. By the time Day made the turn at TPC Summerlin, the Australian had played himself into contention and set a course record with a 7-under 28 on the front side.

But Day was unable to sustain his success over the final nine holes. He flatlined on a run of pars and could get no closer than two shots, playing the back nine to 1-over 37 and settling for fourth place after a 65.

"I hit a lot of quality shots on the front and everything set up perfectly," Day said. "But the back nine, it seemed like I hit a lot of in-between clubs, and I couldn’t get the putts to drop."

Day tried to make one final run at Moore and de Jonge, but his seven-foot eagle putt at the par-5 16th skittered by the hole. He had a double bogey at the par-4 18th to finish at 266, six shots behind Moore.

"Obviously, I would have liked to have kept it going," Day said. "But it was a very good round until the end."

■ LUNDE MOVES UP – Former UNLV star Bill Lunde had a very good week, shooting 5-under 66 in the final round to finish fifth, his best performance of 2012.

Lunde’s previous best finish this year was a tie for 13th in January at the Farmers Insurance Open. Sunday’s finish was good enough to earn $180,000 and move him up on the money list from No. 157 to No. 128, with earnings of $527,759.

Lunde, who needs to make it to No. 125 or better to retain his PGA Tour card, has three events remaining to get there. He currently trails David Mathis, who sits 125th, by $60,000.

"I think it was a step in the right direction," Lunde said. "I’ve just got to keep pushing on and see if I can get a job for next year."

■ PIERCY’S STRONG FINISH – Las Vegas’ Scott Piercy didn’t let the fact he was too far back to win discourage him from finishing strong, as the Bonanza High School graduate posted an impressive 7-under 64 to finish tied for sixth.

Piercy, who had a disappointing 2-over 73 on Saturday, said he had to put his poor third round behind him.

"I had a couple of breaks (Sunday)," he said. "I hit a couple of good wedges and I made a few putts.

"But I’m frustrated. I wasn’t happy with the way I played this week, and with it being on my home course, I feel like I should win this every year."

■ DALY’S STRUGGLES CONTINUE – John Daly managed to break 80 on Sunday, but it was a battle as the colorful veteran’s woes from Saturday carried over to his final round, where he had a 6-over 77.

Daly shot 15-over 86 on Saturday, following a 63 on Friday. He made birdie at his first hole Sunday, No. 10, but he reverted to his struggling ways as he made the turn at 4 over.

Daly then took a triple-bogey 7 at the par-4 No. 3, the same hole where he had a quadruple-bogey 8 on Saturday.

Daly was 21 over for his final 36 holes and finished last among the 71 players still competing Sunday.

■ SABBATINI PULLS OUT – Rory Sabbatini withdrew during his final round after his back gave him problems.

Sabbatini started the day 10 shots behind the leaders and was 2 over through eight holes during his round Sunday when he decided he was physically unable to continue.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

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