The announcement today that Jason Day will be in Sydney later this year for the Australian Open is welcome news for both the event itself and Australian golf.
Day will join Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith as three of Australia’s leading four golfers in the field, the notable absentee being Adam Scott who has not played Australia’s flagship event since 2016 but will play the Australian PGA Championship the following week.
While not yet confirmed in the International side for the Presidents Cup, Day is expected to join Scott, Leishman and Smith in that team once final captain’s picks are announced and Australian golf fans are likely, therefore, to get to see Day play in Australia for the first time since 2017 when he finished 5th behind the surprise winner Cameron Davis.
Day first played the Australian Open as a 17-year old amateur in 2004 when he finished a very credible 22nd at the Australian Golf Club.
His best finish in the years since, when he has played, was when 4th in another Presidents Cup year in 2011.
Day missed out on making it to the final of the FedEx Cup Playoffs having been eliminated at last week’s BMW Championship and while only recording five top tens with a best of 5th in 18 starts on the PGA Tour season his presence in Sydney will be much anticipated.
“It’s the tournament we all grew up watching and I’ve said before that I want to win a few of them, so there’s no better time to start than December,” Day said.
“I nearly got one at The Australian a couple of years ago and it’s a course that really sets up well for me.”
Leishman has seldom played his national open in recent years but the incentive of being able to combine this trip with his role as one of the leading players in the International Presidents Cup side has no doubt been a great attraction.
Smith, on the other hand, has been a regular at the Australian Open and has often performed well including when runner-up to Jordan Spieth At Royal Sydney in 2016.
Given the success of all three golfers in international golf in recent years their involvement is expected to bring a significant dynamic to the event to be played from December 5th -8th at the Australian Golf Club.