JASON DAY’S drought breaking win at Torrey Pines has set the stage for a hopefully great year for Aussie golf on the international stage.
After slogging out five extra playoff holes against Alex Noren on Sunday afternoon at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open as the sun set on San Diego the pair returned at 8am, local time, to continue the joust.
That was 3am (AEDT) on the Australian east coast and in the end it was worth getting up at that potentially life-threatening time to watch two golfers play just one hole.
The big reason for that of course is that the Aussie won, but we’re also now happy to feel that big international golf – and all it entails – has truly started for 2018.
We’ve never been a big fan of the US PGA TOUR’S new wrap-around season concept, where the “new season” begins just a couple of weeks after the old one finishes.
There is so much international golf these days that we can all get a bit jaded – just watching too much of it and we all benefit from a bit of time away – at a beach somewhere, the holiday resort of your choice or just chilling out in the backyard.
After New Year’s golf is gradually reembraced with the US TOUR events in Hawaii, the European Tour in a Middle Eastern desert somewhere, and a few other assorted events.
But the end of January is the time to get back to the big stuff. (We know the holiday season has officially ended because the TV networks have just rolled out their mind-numbing [to me] prime time reality shows – My Golf Clubs Rule, I’m a Hacker Get Me Out of Here, and Fourball at First Sight – where two total strangers make the supreme commitment of playing an 18 hole team event together).
After his win this morning – his first anywhere since The Players some 20 months ago in 2016 – Day said he had some of his old “I want to be world number one again” feelings after what has been a very disruptive time for him with his mum’s cancer battles and his own issues with injury and form.
Day is still having issues with his back but reckons he can manage it, maybe make a few swing changes to lessen the stress on his lower back, and still be around into his 40’s and 50’s. Let’s hope so.
“Last year was a good kick in the butt, you know, not really being talked about — and being talked about for the wrong reasons,” the 30 year old Day said. “Last year I felt mentally stressed but also run down, burnt out. It was hard for me to be on the golf course, but this year my whole mindset’s different. I’m very motivated to get back to the No. 1 spot and I know that the only way to get back to the No. 1 spot is win and that’s what I’ve just got to do.
“I’ve said it for the longest time, I’ve always wanted to be the No. 1 player in the world. I got there for 51 weeks but I’ve always wanted to be a dominant No. 1 player in the world.’’
That will all be part of the golfing drama this year we hope will continue in a winning vein for the Aussies.
We can all settle back now and watch as the story unfolds in the lead up to the first really big of the year – and always an annual highlight – the US Masters in April.