A FEW WEEKS back we were watching distressing scenes of Jason Day collapsed on the fairways of Chambers Bay during the US Open but now the scenes are of victory with a fighting display at the 2015 Canadian Open.
Day (68) birdied the final three holes of the US PGA Tour event to reach 17-under and win the title by a shot from Bubba Watson (69), with hapless Canadian David Hearn (72) a further stroke back third. Hearn had entered the final round with a two stroke lead over Day and Watson.
You almost have to feel sorry for the Canadians … almost … without a win in their national open for 61 years they looked like a good chance for much of the event to finally break what is a very long drought.
In fact, in the 111 year history of the event the Aussies equal the Canadians with seven titles apiece and have a much better record in recent times with Nathan Green winning in 2009, also at the Glen Abbey Golf Course just outside of Toronto, Greg Norman winning in 1992 and 1984, and Kel Nagle in 1964 before we get to Canada’s Pat Fletcher winning in 1954. The other Aussie winners were Jim Ferrier (1951 & 1950) and Joe Kirkwood Sr (1933).
Day himself looked a lost cause during the third round when he bogied the 10th then had a double on the 11th to seemingly lose touch with the leaders. But he got himself right back into contention with six birdies on the last seven holes, including four straight coming home.
In the final round the Australian 27 year old birdied three of the first seven holes, but dropped strokes on Nos. 8 and 9. Playing a group ahead of Watson and Hearn, Day parred the first six holes on the back nine, then birdied the final three.
Heading to the 18th Day was one clear of Watson and Hearn and was determined to claim the victory.
With memories of his putt on 18 at St Andrews to make The Open playoff finishing short fresh in his memory, Day drained a spectacular putt, from just inside 22 feet to seal the win.
“First thing I said was I’ve got to get to the hole this time, that’s what I said in my head,” Day said.
“I gave myself an opportunity out there and I took it which was great.”
“To be able to do that it gives me a lot more confidence going into the rest of the season,” added Day.
“Right now I’m just going to try and soak it in as much as possible, I played great all week and I’m very happy with how I performed.”
The victory also hopefully puts an end to the questions marks surrounding Day’s health, with his collapse at the US Open due to vertigo diagnosed as being caused by a virus.
“I feel good, I feel really good. I’m going to take next week off, the last two weeks have been a big grind,” added Day.
“But it’s all worth it, all the hard work I’ve put into it, this is the fourth win of my career and hopefully I’ll have many more but right now I’m so proud to be the Canadian Open champion.”
This is Day’s second win on the PGA Tour this year. He also came from behind to win the Famers Insurance Open in February.
“This must feel like what Tiger (Woods) did for so many times, and it feels good,” Day said after draining his winning putt. “I’m going to try to do as much as I can and keep it the same and try and win.”
Hearn was thankful for all the hometown support he had received.
“I gave it my all. I didn’t quite have my best game,” he said. “I’m real proud of the way I played and I’m really proud to be Canadian today. It was a pretty special day with all of the fans and the support that I had from beginning to finish.”
Jason Day Canadian Open Win Highlights Video
RBC Canadian Open Results