• Comes into Augusta via back-to-back wins
• Has finished top-5 twice in six starts at the Masters
THE MASTERS | JASON DAY
Jason Day says he’s preparing himself for “a good Sunday afternoon” as he heads into his first major championship as world No.1 this week at Augusta National.
That outlook is a far cry from the feelings he had before pegging it up in his first Masters in 2011. Back then, he said he was sitting in his motor home parked across Washington Road deciding whether to give up the game for good. That Masters, he said, could have been his first but also his last.
“Golf is a very, very frustrating game,” he recounted. “It really is. I can sympathise with everyone in this room that’s played golf. I had my agent, my wife and a sports psychologist, and 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’. So we came to the conclusion of saying, ‘This might be my last Masters ever - I may as well enjoy it’. So I went out there and finished second. And then I loved the game again.”
Five years later and Jason Day is the deserved world No.1, his second spell at the top after he first took the honour in September last year after winning the BMW Championship, his fifth victory of 2015. Day has had two top-fives in six appearances at Augusta and picked up his first major at the USPGA Championship last year with a 20-under-par total, the lowest score ever to win a major.
'I don’t think I’m the favourite.'
His first observation of Augusta National this year? He realises he’s now a bit of a big deal.
“It’s obviously good to be back here in this room,” he said smiling. “The room’s a little bit more full this year than it’s been in the past, which is nice.
“I’m excited about the week. I’m excited about getting ready and preparing and getting the week underway.”
But despite his ranking the 28-year-old doesn’t think he’s the favourite. Golf’s changed, he says, and there are a number of players that can win around Augusta National. “There’s so many that can win around here, and there’s not just one heavy favourite, which is fantastic. I think it’s good for the game and I think it’s good for this tournament. I don’t think I’m the favourite.” The Aussie, who drew some laughs during his presser, has been at Augusta since Friday. He played the back nine on Saturday, the front on Sunday, the back again yesterday, and will play the front again today but says he’s very aware that you can “practice too much” because the facilities are just so good. “It’s an amazing facility,” he said. “I just want to make sure I don’t overdo it.”
Jason Day - 'It feels good to be No.1'
That said, Jason Day knows he’s in a good place. “It’s a golf course that I can compete and play well and win. I feel good about my game. I feel comfortable with where I’m at, walking around the grounds, No.1 in the world - it’s a good feeling. But I know that I can’t take it for granted, because obviously in this game things can change pretty quickly.” He certainly knows that from experience. Follow @BunkeredOnline