THE 2017 Emirates Australian Open has received a big boost with news Jason Day has confirmed he will contest the event at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney.
Day will join defending champion Jordan Spieth – and most likely Adam Scott – at the event from November 23-26.
Day, Australia’s top-rated golfer and a former world number one, hasn’t played the open for four years. Despite all his international wins the former Queenslander is yet to have his name engraved on a major Australian trophy.
“The Australian Open holds a special spot in my heart. I’d love to get my name on that trophy one day – hopefully this November,” Day said as part of an official announcement this week.
“It’s a tournament I’ve always cherished. To win our national Open would be a dream come true.”
Day has been close to Australian Open glory at his two most recent attempts, having finished T6 behind Rory McIlroy at Royal Sydney in 2013 and T4 behind dual champion Greg Chalmers at The Lakes in 2011.
“It’s great to come home and play and be involved with the people who support us so strongly when we’re away,” he said.
“I’m sure the crowds will be huge in November – I’m looking forward to seeing the great supporters of golf back home.”
Day has 14 top-10 finishes in the 28 major championships he’s completed, including victory at the 2015 US PGA Championship. The 29 year old has 10 US PGA TOUR victories and after a comparatively lean year is returning to form in the current FedEx Cup playoff series.
Currently at No.9 in the World Golf Rankings, he will join dual champion and world No.2 Jordan Spieth in what will no doubt be a very strong field.
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt said Day’s achievements shouldn’t be downplayed.
“Jason has done some extraordinary things in the past few years and it’s great that his home fans will be able to show their appreciation for what he’s done,” Pitt said.
“Obviously he’s dealt with some intense personal issues this year, but we shouldn’t forget that he’s a 10-time winner on the US PGA Tour, including that incredible streak of seven wins in 17 starts little more than a year ago.
“We are encouraged that he is coming back again and, along with Jordan, we are already building a very formidable line-up for fans at The Australian.”
Mark Hardess, Emirates Australian Open tournament director for promoter Lagardère Sports, said Day’s return continued to build the tournament’s international reputation.
“With two top-10 players, the tournament really stamps its place in world golf,” Hardess said.
“Its history makes the Emirates Australian Open global, but the presence of Day and Spieth makes it a must-watch event around the golfing world.”
The Emirates Australian Open is a flagship tournament on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia. The winner will receive a minimum of 32 Official World Golf Ranking points.
The event will be telecast all four days on Channel 7.
Tickets are on sale now from Ticketek at www.ticketek.com or by calling 132 849.