Good things are coming - Day eyes return to form at Birkdale

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Jason Day offered an honest appraisal of his struggles in 2017 on Wednesday, but is confident he is now heading in the right direction as he prepares to play in the 146th Open Championship.

After spending the majority of last year as the world number one, the Australian has slipped to sixth in the rankings and will tee it up in round one at Royal Birkdale having recorded just one top-10 finish in his last nine starts.

Speaking in a news conference, Day acknowledged the impact of a major health scare for his mother, who underwent surgery in March after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

A more positive prognosis thankfully followed and Day feels it may not be long before he is back to his best.

Asked what had proved problematic for him in recent months, Day replied: "If you take my years 2015 and 2016, I hit it long and straight, well straight-ish. I hit my iron shots a lot closer and I holed everything on the greens.

"And this year it's not as long, it's not as straight. My iron shots aren't as close, and I'm not holing as many putts. So it's a perfect formula for not having a good year.

"I've just got to keep working at it. I have to be patient with myself and hopefully just let things happen.

"I had the scare with my mum at the start of the year. When you feel like you're going to lose someone that is very close to you, there's nothing you want to do more than just be with them and you don't even want to think about playing golf or even think about working. So there's a stretch there where I'd just go home and just sit around with her.

"I needed to take that time off because I thought I was losing my mum, and didn't think she was going to be around any more. So I wanted to spend all the time with her I could.

"Everything seems like it's kind of coming back into balance for me. And I'm able to focus on just really getting after it and working hard and trying to really pinpoint what has been going wrong in my game.

"Hopefully I'll get back to the winning form and get back to number one. That would be the ultimate goal. I honestly believe good and big things are coming for me. I've got to just trust it and keep working hard."