The price of beer, and not gas, have golf fans fired up and players bemused at the US PGA Championship in Oklahoma. With a…
Five years ago a young Jason Day sat in his motor home across the road from Augusta National’s Magnolia Lane entrance ready to quit.
He was burnt out. He was sick of the work and the scrutiny. He plainly wasn’t having fun anymore.
Inside his mobile home Day sat with wife Ellie, manager Bud Martin and his sports psychologist.
He told them he’d had enough.
“We’re just sitting there, and I’m like, I just do not like the game right now. I’m just having a very, very hard time picking up the golf club to even just enjoy myself out there,” Day recalled as he lines up as the favourite for this years Masters.
“So we come to the conclusion of just going and saying, this might be my last Masters ever playing, I may as well enjoy it.”
The strategy paid off as Day went within a whisker of winning Australia’s first green jacket in 2011, sharing the clubhouse lead late with Adam Scott before Charl Schwartzel defied logic and birdied the final four holes to win.
Despite the heartache of the loss, Day found his love for the game again.
And it’s a good thing too.
Fast forward five years and Day is still staying in his motor home across the road, albeit a tricked out upgraded model, ready to live up to his billing as world No.1.
The bookies favourite coming in having won his last two events on the US PGA Tour and six events in his last 13 starts including the last major contested last year Day is well and truly in a happy place.
“It’s a good feeling to be here, No.1 in the world and coming off the back of how I’ve been playing has been fantastic,” he said.
“I feel comfortable around this course. I know it sets up well for me. It’s a golf course that I can compete and play well and win.
“But I know that I can’t take it for granted, because obviously in this game, things can change pretty quickly.”
The 28-year-old tried to downplay his role as favourite, looking to deflect the attention onto others in the field.
“To be honest, I don’t think I’m the favourite this week. There’s a lot of people out there that can play well this week and win,” he added.
“Jordan (Spieth) and Rory (McIlroy) and Henrik (Stenson), how he’s playing lately, and even Phil (Mickelson) is a favourite here.
“I think it’s good for the game of golf and I think it’s good for this tournament.”