JASON DAY’S year just keeps on getting better with the overnight awarding of The Don, an award honoring Australia’s most inspirational sports performance.
Day’s major breakthrough victory at the US PGA Championship was the highlight of a year that included four other US PGA Tour wins.
The 27 year old Queenslander wasn’t at the Sports Australia Hall of Fame dinner to accept the award last night. He was at home in Ohio with his family preparing for the birth of his second child.
“Such a great year as this, to be able to cap it off with ‘The Don’ Award, it goes down in my memory as one of the best years that I’ve ever had,” Day said by video.
“I’m looking forward to hopefully replicating or improving on years like this, and really trying to represent not only myself but represent golf, and golf in Australia and also the Australian nation around the world the best I possibly can.
“I’d like to congratulate the other 11 nominees – what a fantastic year they’ve had. All the way from the Socceroos to Mick Fanning punching a bloody shark in the face, it’s been an amazing year for all the 11 other nominees.”
Day’s year, and even his career, looked to be in jeopardy in August when he collapsed on course during the US Open due to vertigo. The actual cause was a mystery but was later diagnosed as a virus, treatable with medication.
He bounced back to take his first major with a record 20-under score and this week is again back ranked as world No.1.
Day’s early life wasn’t so smooth, and he has talked about his struggles with alcohol as a teen following the premature death of his father when he was 12. His growing devotion to golf under long-time mentor and coach Col Swatton turned his life around.
Day becomes the second golfer in the past three years to win the prestigious Don award, with Adam Scott winning in 2013 following his historic US Masters win.
Other nominees this year included surfers Mick Fanning, Sally Fitzgibbons and Julian Wilson, footballer Jarryd Hayne, cyclist Anna Meares, ironwoman Miranda Carfrae, swimmer Emily Seebohm, wheelchair athlete Kurt Fearnley and surf lifesaving ironman Shannon Eckstein.
Never Say Die – The Jason Day story
Watch this compelling 10 minute mini documentary on Jason Day’s inspiring life story.