JASON DAY went within a whisker of breaking his year-long winless drought with a playoff loss to Billy Horschel at the 2017 Byron Nelson Championship in Texas on the weekend.
Day sunk a 60 footer on Saturday but missed a four footer on the first playoff hole Sunday to hand the title to Horschel, who hadn’t won himself since his multi-million dollar effort at the 2014 Tour Championship (Just shows you to be careful of those US$10 million wins, they can mess with your game).
Both players finished on 12-under in regulation with Horschel (69) displaying some incredible putting form, including his own 60 foot birdie putt on the 14th, matched by Day (68), who responded on the 15th by chipping in from the rough over a bunker from 78 feet out for birdie.
The third player in their group, overnight leader James Hahn, almost joined the theatrics when his second shot on the par four 18th lipped out from what would have been an eagle to join the playoff.
Day won the first of his 10 US PGA TOUR victories at the 2010 Byron Nelson and an 11th victory there the last time the tournament is played at the TPC Four Seasons would have been a nice symmetry. With his 63 on Saturday he showed he was very much over his injury and form worries and is able to concentrate despite the illness concerns surrounding his mother.
However, he’s still obviously not quite back to his former No.1 best, notably taking out a two iron to tee off coming down the 18th on the last two occasions (including the first playoff hole), whilst his opponent had a driver and a big advantage on both occasions for his approach shots.
“Definitely (it was disappointing),” said Day. “You know what, just shows that things are coming together. Little unfortunate with that, obviously, thinking how things unfolded but, you know what, I get a week off, I get some rest and get into the Memorial.
“I only had one Top-10 up until this point. To be able to play the way I did today, I played some good, solid golf. Obviously, once again, it’s a little disappointing but it’s not the first tournament I’m going to lose. I’ve lost plenty of other ones beforehand and I’ll lose plenty more in the future.
“I got to try to get better from this experience and I feel good about my game. Everything is coming along nicely. Got to work a little bit more on the overall game of things and I think if that happens, then I should be in pretty good form coming into the Majors.”
Marc Leihman (67) was the next best Aussie, finishing on 6-under tied for 13th along with Dustin Johnson and a couple of others.
Jason Day extended highlights final round Byron Nelson: Video