By Brian O’Hare
JASON DAY will get back into the swing of big time golf this week with his first US PGA Tour appearance of the year at the 2014 Farmer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
Also dusting off the golf clubs this week will be defending champion Tiger Woods.
Day is still feeling exuberant after his win at the World Cup at Royal Melbourne last November and is itching to get back into the fray.
“Last year was really encouraging but at the same time it was super motivating to do even better,” Day told AAP’s Ben Everill this week.
“To finally see myself breakthrough after such a long time without winning was a real boost and reaffirmed what I believed; that I can win tournaments,” said Day, who shot a final round 66 here last year to finish 9th.
“The real pleasing part (in Melbourne) was just being patient and not getting ahead of myself and really being disciplined enough to just not think about what others were doing. Now I am working towards winning more and more.”
Winning is what Tiger Woods has excelled at at the Torrey Pines course in La Jolla, California, over the years – he will be shooting for his eight win here this week.
Tiger Woods & Phil Mickelson reflecting on getting older
At the grand old age of 38, the march of time was playing on Wood’s mind a little this week as he contemplated the start of a new year and his continuing quest to add more majors to his current tally.
“Looking back from the beginning of my career to now, I know that I don’t have 20 years in my prime,” Woods said Wednesday. “I don’t see being 58 and being in my prime. Most guys don’t jump from the foul line at age 58, so it’s a little different but the outlook is still the same.”
“I’m still able to generate the same amount of clubhead speed as I did when I was younger, it’s just that I can’t do it every shot anymore,” he said. “I don’t have the rotational speed that I used to and that’s a fact of aging.”
Phil Mickelson is also back in the US this week after his runner-up performance in Abu Dhabi last weekend. The 43 year old also got into the “aging golfer” commentary.
“I would think that as you get older your skills would start to decline,” he said. “[But] What’s happened is when I started working with (Dave) Pelz in 2004 on certain things with distance control, iron work, wedge work, putting and so forth, it’s all getting better now each year the more I’m able to work on it, the more I’m able to practice.”
There are ten Aussies in the field this week including Day, Marc Leishman, Stuart Appleby, Matt Jones, Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Allenby, Aaron Baddeley, Steve Bowditch, Scott Gardiner and Bronson la Cassie.
Live action on Fox Sports begins Friday from 7am to 11am (AEST)
2014 Farmer’s Insurance Open: Leaderboard2014 Farmer’s Insurance Open Leaderboard