Day: Tiger's backing gives me so much confidence
Published 22/03/2016 | 02:30
If Tiger Woods is looking for a new career once his days as a professional golfer are over, he could do worse than move into sports psychology. Jason Day has revealed that advice from the 14-time Major winner has helped turn him into a fearless front-runner.
With his wire-to-wire victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Australian leapfrogged Rory McIlroy into second place in the world rankings, which were released yesterday. Day played a spectacular bunker shot on the last at Bay Hill to beat American Kevin Chappell by a shot and was quick to thank his friend Woods, who has won the event eight times and with whom he traded texts all week.
"One of the things he told me was 'just be yourself and stay in your world' and another was 'you know that you can do this and start your own legacy here'," Day said. "And to have his advice, to be able to go see him and practise with him and pick his brain about numerous things that I want to try and improve my game?... it's been a big credit to him.
"It gives me so much confidence that a person like that would believe in me. He's been a big influence in my life. I was idolising him ever since I was a kid and watching him in '97 win the Masters for the first time and all of a sudden I'm playing the Tour and I'm pretty close with him now."
Day is not the first player Woods has helped. He missed the 2011 Open because of injury, but was influential at Sandwich as, on the Saturday night, he texted tips to another close friend in Darren Clarke. The Ulsterman duly closed out his first major and credited Woods's assistance as a main factor in the victory.
With Woods almost certain to miss next month's Masters as he continues to recover from his back problems, Day will no doubt tap into his vast Augusta knowledge. The 28-year-old will go there as one of the favourites and will also have the chance at this week's WGC Matchplay in Austin to take the world No 1 spot off Jordan Spieth. (© Daily Telegraph, London)