Sunday 19 November 2017

'Big Three' seek year of atonement in the Majors

Day’s US PGA victory of 2015 whetted his appetite for more. Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Day’s US PGA victory of 2015 whetted his appetite for more. Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

The 2016 season was a lost year regarding Major titles for the 'Big Three'.

Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and Jason Day looked to have the golfing world at their feet heading into last year.

Nobody could have predicted they would end the campaign without any of the game's top honours, but that's what happened.

First-timers Danny Willett, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson, and Jimmy Walker usurped the anticipated domination of McIlroy and Co, much to the surprise of pundits and fans.

Read more: 10 Masters outside bets who could cause a shock at Augusta

Today is day one of the resurrection series for McIlroy and Co, and they are burning with desire to get back on top of the heap once more.

Day's US PGA victory of 2015 whetted his appetite for more.

"I was very emotional when I won my first Major, because I knew how hard it was, and under the circumstances of beating Jordan who was the guy at the time… and there were some other contenders like (Justin) Rose and (Brandon) Grace who popped up during the middle of that round, as well.

Special

"But that whole week was pretty special.

"Two things in my life, Tiger Woods and Augusta National, the Masters, is why I play golf.

"And this is my favourite week of the year. It always is. To be able to do it this week would be great."

Spieth echoed Day's sentiments. With one Green Jacket in 2015, and tied second in 2014 and 2016, he has every reason to love Augusta, despite last year's meltdown in the final round.

"It's pretty amazing. You know, this is just my favorite tournament; I've made that clear,"he said.

"Just a tremendous opportunity everybody in the field has this week.

"I've been so fortunate to have succeeded here and had great success a few years running.

"My game feels good. I've had a couple of nice days of prep.

"I played with my dad on Sunday, which was a pretty incredible experience. I've played with him before, but to play Masters week, to play with my dad, that was really cool."

The rough weather has the potential to devastate the hopes of players who, in normal conditions, could focus on doing what they do best.

Spieth appreciates the elements of uncertainty that Mother Nature presents over the next couple of days.

"We're going to have some interesting conditions, but I'm confident that we can get off to the start we want," he said.

Irish Independent

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