Sydney: Jason Day is determined to cap his return to playing golf on home soil after a five-year hiatus with a maiden Australian Open title this weekend.      

The world number seven celebrated his 24th birthday with a round of 68 on Saturday to stand a shot behind compatriot John Senden going into Sunday's final round.   

With the Presidents Cup next week in Melbourne, the 107-year-old tournament has attracted eight of the world's top 20 to the Lakes Golf Club and Day said he would like nothing more than to add his name to the honour role.    

"I really do want to win one, really bad," Day said. "I grew up watching the Australian Open and it's always been on my long-term goal list to win one.    

"I'm in good position to make sure I hopefully can check that off my list tomorrow."   

Second place finishes at the U.S. Masters and U.S. Open this year helped Day break into the world top 10 and wrest the title of Australia's top golfer from Adam Scott.   

The 2010 Byron Nelson championship remains his sole U.S. PGA title but with two World Golf Championship events and the Players' Championship also among his 10 top-10 finishes this year, he is without doubt one of golf's rising talents.   

Day said he felt very much at home in Sydney and was enjoying playing in front of his compatriots after so long away playing mostly in the U.S.     

"I had a hurt back one year, a hurt wrist one year, got married, went to (qualifying) school a couple of times, just a few things that have fallen at the wrong time to come back," he said.   

"I'm glad I came back this year, especially, with the calibre of players that are in the field, and obviously leading into next week, it's good practice.   

"It's good to come home the number one ranked Aussie and a little bit of hype around me, I'm just glad I'm playing well in front of the home crowd."   

Day accompanied his childhood hero Tiger Woods on the first two rounds and played well enough to elicit praise from the 14-times major champion.   

"Man, he hits it solid," Woods said after the second round. "He's got some serious speed too. What people don't realise is how good a putter he is. He rolls it great.    

"He has a wonderful stroke. He lets the blade go. It was tough conditions the last couple of days and he handled them well."   

Australian great Greg Norman, who will captain Day in the International team at the Presidents Cup in Melbourne next week, predicted the Queenslander would be a future world number one.     

"It feels like I am moving in the right direction. I am working on the little things that count," Day said after his second round.    

"I know that if I can improve each and every week, and improve overall each year, it can only get better.     

"As long as I stay motivated and keep practising hard, I know that I can one day get to that number one spot."

(Agencies)