Jason Day confident after early-year success
Jason Day said he is feeling physically and mentally refreshed as the former world number one looks to build on his impressive start to the year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Day was something of a forgotten man late last season, but the Australian star is back on the map entering this week's PGA Tour event, having won the Farmers Insurance Open in January.
The 2015 US PGA Championship has recorded three consecutive top-five finishes at tournaments after he was tied for second at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, while he placed fifth at the Australian Open in November.
Ranked 10th in the world, Day is ready to re-shake the rust off after a few weeks of rest, starting Thursday.
"You have to feel good coming off the first two starts," Day said on Wednesday. "But it's been I think four, five weeks maybe since I played, yeah, it's been a while but I was with my coach Col last week up at Ponte Vedra Beach at Sawgrass and we were practicing there this week and getting ready for this week, so I feel mentally and physically refreshed and ready to go and I'm looking forward to the week.
"I got Tiger [Woods] and Hideki [Matsuyama] in the first two rounds so that's going to be a lot of fun and there's going to be a lot of people so all this stuff is going to be great because it's just going to not only make you better as a golfer over the next four days, but prepare you for the first Major that's coming up."
Known as one of Tiger Woods' friends off the course, Day was watching the 14-time major champion try to get back in the winner's circle last week.
Wood finished second at the Valspar Championship as he continued his recent resurgence following a miserable few years with back injuries bit Day did not bother the American star with any text messages.
"I didn't trade any texted messages. I wanted -- I just left it. I didn't want to mess with his mojo, man," Day said. "I know that he would have just -- he's done it 79 times before. But I did watch. His iron play wasn't as precise as it was the first three days. When you're hitting it to 30 feet it's kind of hard to hole a lot of those putts and expect to win, but you could tell, he just didn't do a lot, but that's what champions do.
"When you don't have your best stuff you just stick around, stick around, stick around and for him to not birdie 15 after hitting a great 2-iron just on the front of the green there, that was a little surprising, but once again this is his fourth tournament into his pretty much his official come back from what he has had with the health conditions and stuff.
"But seeing the putt go in on 17, that's Tiger-esque stuff. I mean back in the day when you're watching you're like, oh my gosh, he pulled that off sort of thing. It's 43 feet down the hill, right-to-left, on fast greens and it went in there like he had a three-foot putt. So I said after the practice round at Torrey Pines this year on Tuesday that, I said, he's going to win this year, I don't know when it was, but he almost did it at Valspar, which is pretty amazing."
Known as an inconsistent player, Day said he can feel when hot streaks are coming on. Though he remains one of the most electric players on Tour, he has won just once since capturing the 2016 Players Championship.
"I can feel when momentum's switching on the golf course," Day said. "I was talking about that earlier this year at Torrey Pines. The first round, you're sitting there you're like, OK, you get off and I think you're one-under through five or six holes and I'm like, I just knew something was going to happen I'm like I just sat there and I said the momentum's starting to switch the other way.
"And that's when I talked to Tiger about the momentum and he's like you just got to find a way to get it in the hole. I'm like, OK, thanks, man. He gives me this advice like it's easy, but it's not easy.
"But saying that, it's, you definitely can feel it, like I felt it at the start of this year, I felt like I was going to come out and play well and I did which was great. So I just got to kind of bear down right now and just keep pushing and grinding away because I don't want to, I don't want this to stop, I want the success to keep moving forward."