Sport Golf

Monday 21 May 2018

Slipping down the rankings motivates me, insists Day

Jason Day: New telescope. Photo: Getty Images
Jason Day: New telescope. Photo: Getty Images

Phil Casey

Former world No 1 Jason Day admits he is annoyed at slipping to seventh in the rankings ahead of this week's US PGA Championship.

Day won the US PGA with a record total of 20-under par in 2015, one of four victories in the space of six events which propelled him to the top of the rankings.

The 29-year-old also won three times in early 2016, including the WGC-Dell Match Play and Players Championship, but has not tasted success since and withdrew from his title defence in the Match Play due to his mother's battle with cancer.

"It annoys and motivates me at the same time to be honest," Day said of his position in the rankings. "Because I know how good I can be, because I have got to No 1 in the world.

"I think through the latter part of last year, I got a little bit burnt out. I was trying to do too many things and my mind got a little bit away from what really made me get to number one. I would definitely handle it differently once I get back there.

"The hardest thing for me when I was number one was to say no to people. Everyone wants a piece of me and I think they deserve it.

"I was kind of exhausted at the end of it and I didn't have enough time to reflect on what I accomplished, but also to relax and try and replace all the energy that expelled during the year that I had."

Day revealed that defending champion Jimmy Walker - who is an astrophotographer - gave telescopes to each of the players at the champions' dinner on Tuesday, adding: "I've never used one, so I'm looking forward to setting it up.

"Jimmy was actually explaining it to us. You're actually able to set your iPhone up to it and take photos of space, which is fantastic. Probably beats my little Yeti cooler that I had last year."

Masters champion Sergio Garcia is another man who needs to find a last-minute spark to give himself a chance of claiming a second Major of the season.

Although he finished second in the BMW International Open in June and carded a closing 67 in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday, the 37-year-old Spaniard is not overly optimistic about his chances in the US PGA Championship.

"My game was definitely better at Augusta, for sure," said Garcia. "I felt like my swing was behaving a little bit more the way I want it.

"At the moment there's some things that are not quite where I want them to be, and they need to be better very early, starting (this) morning."

Irish Independent

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