Sport

Friday 22 September 2017

Jason Day and Australia claim emotional World Cup success

Jason Day, of Australia. Picture: AP Photo/David Goldman.
Jason Day, of Australia. Picture: AP Photo/David Goldman.

Australia's Jason Day held off the challenge of Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and countryman Adam Scott to win the individual prize at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne as the antipodean duo also claimed the team prize.

Graeme McDowell shot a disappointing 75 to fall out of contention and into a tie for 15th on one over while Sjane Lowry finished on eight over leaving Ireland in a tie for 11th overall.

Day had held a one-shot lead overnight and a fourth-round 70 meant he finished on 10 under, two shots clear of Bjorn who finished with a 71.

Scott closed with a five under par 66 to finish a further shot back and hand Australia an aggregate team score of 17 under, 10 shots clear of nearest challengers the United States.

Bjorn and Day were tied for the lead with three holes to play but the Dane bogeyed the par-four 16th and Day, who found a bunker on the same hole, made a clutch par save to stay on 10 under and take the outright lead.

He then stood firm with pars on the closing two holes while Bjorn bogeyed the last.

The victory was especially emotional for Day, who is grieving the death of his grandmother and seven other relatives in Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Scott started the day seven shots behind Day but charged into contention with an eagle and two birdies on the first three holes.

He got as close as one shot from the lead with a birdie on the 16th to reach eight under.

However his hopes of a third straight win following his Australian PGA and Masters victories were dashed when he bogeyed the last.

The team victory was Australia's first World Cup triumph since Wayne Grady and Peter Fowler claimed the trophy in 1989.

American Matt Kuchar finished fourth on six under after firing a level-par 71 which was enough to guide the USA to second despite team-mate Kevin Streelman's 74.

Denmark and Japan both finished the team contest on five under, 12 shots behind the triumphant Australians.

The home win was a first victory for Day since the HP Byron Nelson Championship in 2010 and the 26-year-old feels it is just reward after finishing second three times at majors since then.

"It was a complete honour to win here at Royal Melbourne," he said.

"To win in front of the Melbourne fans who are so passionate about their sport was an amazing feeling.

"It feels great. I just really don't know what to think right now.

"All the hard work and dedication that I have put into my game over the last five or 10 years is paying off.

"It's taken me a while to get my second win as a pro, and it couldn't be more fitting with Scotty by my side winning the World Cup here in Melbourne."

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