Jason Day primed and ready to go
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2014 US Open | Preview | 11 Jun 2014
Jason Day has signalled his readiness for this week’s US Open and was quick to point out that the thumb injury which has curtailed his season to date is no longer an issue.
“You know, I’m a hundred percent healthy. I just want to get that out there. There’s no issues with the thumb. There’s no issues with any other part of my body that have been an issue in the past.
“Definitely looking forward to playing this week. I feel good about my game. I think the biggest thing is to just come up with a game plan that I feel that will kind of compliment my distance with being conservative.
“Like I said, I feel like you can’t be conservative enough in U.S. Opens. Obviously it’s a premium to kind of stay out of the natural areas and not go into the bushes there. But once again, excited to be here, I’ve got another chance to hopefully win my first Major this week and I’m just excited to get the week going.”
Day has played two events since the win at the Accenture Match Play Championship although his thumb was still an issue there and feels, despite a solid week there, playing at the Masters was a premature return.
“I played Augusta, I forced it there, that forced me to take off another two to three weeks, just from playing that tournament. I had it pretty heavily strapped there, but I met up with Dr. Graham who is out of Cleveland, he’s at the Cleveland Clinic and he did my right wrist in 2009 when I had a tear. He went in there and shot it once and it’s been great ever since.
“I had the opportunity to get to No. 1 in the world at Augusta and I obviously, after the WGC, going to number four in the world, with Tiger being out and Scotty and Henrik just in front of me at the time, I definitely had a chance to get to that No. 1 spot.
“That’s been my dream ever since I was a little kid. So to say I was frustrated was a bit of an understatement. So it was an opportunity that I, unfortunately, missed, but I’m seven in the world now and I have an opportunity this week to win the U.S. Open and shoot up the golf World Rankings and hopefully one day achieve that goal. But definitely excited about being healthy and the opportunity that I have this week.
For one of such tender years (6) Day has an outstanding record in major championships including two runner-up finishes in three US Opens to date.
“I’ve been close in a few Majors now. So close that you can almost taste it. It’s disappointing and encouraging at the same time. It really is all how you look at things. I can stew on it and say, you know, I kind have blown a few, blown a major or two or I had a real opportunity to win and I just didn’t quite get there. But I look at it as experience.
“I feel like I’ll get there one day. I just have to keep giving myself the opportunities. If I can put myself there more and more and more, it’s bound to happen, I just feel like it’s bound to happen. I definitely want to win a U.S. Open. I think this is a true test of golf; not only mentally, not only physically, but just to show what you’ve got, because this is — U.S. Opens typically are the hardest golf course that we play on TOUR every year.
“If you can mentally stay patient and just keep yourself in the fight until it’s all over, you have a shot at winning. That’s what I’m going to try and do. I’m not going to give up this week, I’m going to keep fighting until it’s over and hopefully that’s good enough.
Day has not played the course under tournament conditions previously but is coming to terms with what he sees as a tough and demanding layout.
“I came here about two years ago, I was out doing a Lexus outing here so I only played 12 holes. I really didn’t get to fully experience the golf course. I got here last Friday, played 18 holes Friday, nine holes Saturday and nine holes Sunday. Played nine holes yesterday and I’ll probably play nine holes again today. So that’s three rounds that I’ll have under my belt.
“I think the course is interesting. With how dry everything looks you think you are going to get a lot of run on the fairways, but surprisingly you don’t. Obviously down the middle there they have one row of sprinklers, which keep the fairways pretty lush in the middle and then obviously it browns off on the side of the fairways.
“I was talking to my caddie when we first started playing and I thought the USGA they had been smart and they were watering the middle and not watering the edges so you hit the brown spots and run into the natural areas. But obviously there’s just one row of sprinklers, so that was my theory going out the door. But it’s an interesting golf course. I never got to play it before the restoration. I could not comment on how the course was before it is now.
“This course that we’re playing this week is the only course that I know of. So with that said, I think it’s a very — I think it’s going to be a very difficult course, I think it’s going to be a good challenge for all of us. I’m not too sure what the winning score will be, but it’s premium on second shots. This is more of a second shot golf course, with — you have to have a very, very sharp short game this week.”