The perfect formula for not having a good year
Jason Day does not begin his seventh Open until lunchtime tomorrow but he has already landed his first trophy of the week.
This morning former R&A Chief Executive, Peter Dawson, presented the Australian with the Mark McCormack Award handed each year to the player who spent most weeks at No. 1 in the World Rankings. It was a welcome interlude for Day to receive an award won 14 times by Tiger Woods, three times by Rory McIlroy, and once by Luke Donald but it also served as a graphic reminder of how he has struggled since his hey-day (excuse the pun) in 2015-16 when he won the 2015 PGA Championship and then spent no fewer than 41 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the eanking.
It would be wrong to say the 29-year-old Queenslander has endured an annus horribilis in 2017 but his best finish remains a second place at the AT & T Byron Nelson and he comes into The Open having missed the cut on his two previous starts at the US Open and the Travelers Championship.
In addition, he also had to withdraw from The Masters to be at the bedside of his mother as she underwent cancer surgery so it is no real surprise that his eye has been off the ball.
The good news is that his mother in now on the mend and he is also starting to see signs that his golf is following suit.
“I've been working very hard. I've been trying to tick the boxes, and hopefully I can see a light at the end of the tunnel,” the Australian said before launching into a succinct explanation about why his scores have tailed off since his last victory at the 2016 WGC-Dell Match Play Championship.
“If you take my years 2015 and 2016, I hit it long and straight, straightish,” he said. “I hit my iron shots a lot closer and I holed everything on the greens. And this year it's not as long, it's not as straight. My iron shots aren't as close, and I'm not holing as many putts. So, it's a perfect formula for not having a good year.”
“I have to be patient with myself and hopefully just let things happen,” he added. “The hardest thing is being able to take your own advice sometimes. It's so easy to give advice out, but, unfortunately, it's very, very difficult to take your own advice sometimes.
“My advice to me is to be as patient as possible and, hopefully, the work and the workload pays off in the not too distant future.”