Jason Day speaks to the media today – photo courtesy of USGA / Ben Solomon
Jason Day starts this week’s US Open at Shinnecock Hills as Australia’s leading chance on paper and today he talked to the media on his thoughts ahead of Thursday’s start to the second major of the year.
Day has one of the best US Open records of any player in recent years with five top tens in his last seven starts including two runner-up finishes, the first of those coming on debut in the event in 2011.
Day last played at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago and although a little disappointing there his season overall in 2018 has been outstanding and he is expected by many to be one of the contenders this week.
Day has been in New York for several days and is enjoying what he sees of a layout he is playing for the first time this week but his preparation suggests he will be ready for the challenge.
“I got in here Saturday night and played 18 holes on Sunday, 9 holes yesterday,” said Day.
“I did a little bit of chipping and putting today, and I’ll probably play nine holes again tomorrow. I’m Just trying to get as much experience on it because, obviously, Sunday was the first time I’ve ever actually stepped foot on the grounds.
“But the course is in great shape. I think the USGA and the greens staff have done a phenomenal job leading up to this week, and I know that we’ve had great weather. So obviously, you can see by the fescue, how healthy it is.
“I love this golf course. I think they’ve done a great job with the renovations. I think they’ve done a good job with setting up the golf course as well. With the width of it, it doesn’t look crazy, like — off the tee, it looks narrow. When you get on the fairways, it’s very wide, or in some parts can be wide.”
Day talked of the shape his game and mindset is in and spoke positively of his chances.
“I feel good. I mean, obviously, coming off a win at Wells Fargo was a great win, obviously. I haven’t played that tournament too much, and I know that I’ve had good experiences there, and I finally went there and, obviously, going off what happened at the PGA last year, I didn’t finish it off and had a poor 18th hole.”
Day of course made a blunder at the final hole at the Wells Fargo venue during the PGA Championship last year so was delighted to put those memories to bed with his recent win
“But being able to get across the line and get my 12th (PGA Tour title), I’m just trying to keep ticking the boxes. This year’s been a good start to the year. I know that I feel ready for another Major win, and hopefully it’s this week.”
Day talked about returning to the top of world ranking a mantle he last held in February of 2017 having held it in two stretches over a total of 50 weeks.
“Yeah, definitely. It’s more of a mindset, I think, more so than anything else.
“I think if I want to be the best player in the world, I’ll be the best player in the world. And that’s more the mindset that I have to take. I mean, a golf career is kind of like this (indicating), you know, and for me, how I work, that’s just my mindset.
“If I want to put my mind to something, I know that there’s pretty much nothing people can do about it. Because if I put my mind to it, it’s going to happen.
“I feel like it’s always easier chasing to get to No. 1 than it is to get there and stay there. Right now, I’m chasing a guy that’s playing phenomenal golf. Dustin just won last week, and he got back to the top of the world rankings again.
“He’s very dominant in the way he plays with regards to how far he hits it and all that stuff. I feel like, when things are going my way and I’m doing the right things, I feel like my game is just like that as well.”