A JUBILANT Jason Day is looking forward to arriving at Augusta National as a back to back winner and newly minted world number one.
The 28 year old Aussie’s resounding victory at the WGC-Dell Matchplay Championship in Texas will see him relishing being in the spotlight for a chance at a title he covets the most.
“I’m looking forward to it. The Masters is the one tournament that I have always wanted to win,” said Day, who has had six wins in 13 starts.
“I have wanted to put that [green] jacket on and go back every year. So the motivation and the want? There is no problem. The biggest thing for me is rest and recovery between now and then.
“I can’t get lazy, I can’t get comfortable with how I am playing because I have to understand that what I’m doing is working. I have got to keep working on the things that have caused me to win over the last two weeks, stay focused and hopefully put on that Green Jacket. It is going to be tough. But it is great to be going there as world No1 and that’s something I’ll definitely be embracing. It will be fun to walk through the gates as No1 in the world.”
Day accounted for arch rival Rory McIlroy in the semi-final of the Matchplay at the Austin Country Club and then saw off former British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen in the final 5&3.
“Jason is definitely a few steps ahead of everyone at the moment,” the South African conceded.
Day won the event in 2014 and was also coming off his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational the previous week. He reached world No.1 for the first time in 2015 in a sensational winning run that included his first major, the US PGA Championship.
Day will retain his number one status going into the Masters whatever world No.2 Jordan Spieth does at the Shell Houston Open this week.
“I’ve got to understand there is going to be a lot of hype,” he said. “There is going to be a lot of hype around Jordan Spieth, there is going to be a lot of hype around Rory McIlroy because he could finish the career grand slam. Then there’s going to be a lot of hype around me as No1. Embrace it. Understand there is going to be some hype there.
“I know the feeling of trying too hard. I’ve done it the last couple of years on that golf course and I really want to get back to good form there.
“It has been a fantastic journey up until now. The mental hurdle I had to jump over to get that major, knowing what it feels like to win one with a lot of people watching you and expecting you to play well; that is probably the most significant thing. The way I think now is totally different from how I thought at Augusta a year ago. I think the mind-set will be different this time.”
Day has an excellent record at the Masters, finishing T2 with Adam Scott in 2011 and 3rd in 2013.
“Watching Scotty play the way he did in 2013, getting to No1, was a big inspiration to me,” Day said. “Watching him win got me working harder.
“Once you see an Aussie do it, then you want to do it and then it’s kind of like a chain reaction.”
Day wins WGC Dell Matchplay: Video Highlights