JASON Day choked back tears while talking to reporters after his first round 67 at the 2018 PGA Championships.

Reflecting on Jarrod Lyle's passing, the Aussie struggled to contain his emotions; the devastating news having clearly taken a toll on the former world No.1.

"It's hard because you sit there and you know him and he's a buddy of yours, and he's not there anymore," Day said.

"He's never going to come back. That's the hardest thing to sort of come by. Now I'm tearing up."

"I've known Jarrod a long time," Day explained. "I lived across the street from him when we first started out in Orlando. He's a good buddy of mine. It's obviously heartbreaking to see."

"He battled half his life. And the crazy thing is he was always upbeat and positive," Day said, honouring his friend's brave fight.

"For him to first get diagnosed with it when he was 17 and then battled three times, it just goes to show how much of a fighter he was inside to be able to keep pushing on even though it is painful to go through the stuff that he went through.

"He impacted a lot of people. There are a lot of people out there that are sick and have probably the same thing going on. So for people to hear his story and know he fought on for a long time and lived a good life and had two kids and had a good loving wife, that's a lot of positive to come out of a story like that."

In a near-perfect ball-striking display, Day missed only one green in regulation while finding 12 of 14 fairways.

But an uncharacteristically poor display on the greens from the US PGA Tour's No.1-ranked putter prevented an exceptional round.

The Queenslander smashed a 271-yard second shot into the par-5 17th (his eighth hole) but three-putted for a par.

The 12-time US PGA Tour winner has only bettered Thursday's driving display once, during the 2006 Barracuda Championship.

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