TOP 30 PLAYERS TO WATCH
No. 17: Jason Day
December 14, 2018
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- December 14, 2018
Jason Day lands 12th victory at Wells Fargo
Most people would be satisfied with a two-win PGA TOUR season. But Jason Day is not most people.
The now 12-time TOUR winner and former World No. 1 left the TOUR Championship feeling like he had more to give. It was his sixth straight trip to East Lake and eighth in the last nine seasons but until he wins the FedExCup, he won’t be satisfied.
It is a driving factor for the Australian who bought into the season-long race from the very beginning, knowing its significance would continue to rise as its history lengthened.
In two starts in the fall he was T5 at THE CJ CUP @NINE BRIDGES and T11 at the World Golf Championships–HSBC Champions before heading home for the birth of his third child, a son named Arrow.
Once the new routines are established, Day will look to hit the ground running in 2019 knowing he is heading for a bunch of courses he likes and has history on.
While he is out to win every time he tees it up, Day has his crosshairs firmly on THE PLAYERS, Masters, PGA Championship and U.S. Open, given his love for TPC Sawgrass, Augusta National, Bethpage Black and Pebble Beach.
When comparing to his previous high standards, last season was a tough one off the tee and into the greens for Day. He dropped to his lowest rank in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee in years and his Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green was the worst of his career.
His short game saved him as always, as he ranked second in Strokes Gained: Putting and fifth in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green.
Instead of seeing negatives, Day has seen it as a motivating factor and is ready to put in the work to tighten his weaknesses. If he can find balance in his game, we could see a return to 2015 form where he won five times. -- By Ben Everill
BY THE NUMBERS
Current 2018-19 position: 36th
Playoff appearances: 11
TOUR Championship appearances: 8
Best FedExCup result: 3rd in 2015.
SHOTLINK FUN FACT
Jason Day ranked second on the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained: Putting last season. He led the TOUR in that category in the 2015-16 season.
PGATOUR.COM’s Insiders offer their expert views on what to expect from Jason Day in 2019.
TOUR INSIDER: Having spent a lot of time around this guy in his career, I feel confident enough to say there is so much more locked inside we have yet to see. Day has a short game second to none on the PGA TOUR and if he can just straighten up the iron and wedge play a touch, he could provide a dominant run. Work/life balance with three kids will be a key factor. -- By Ben Everill
FANTASY INSIDER: His position in the Top 30 series isn't reflective on his stronger fantasy value. As he eases into his prime at 31, it's tantalizing to daydream about the possibilities of what lies ahead. After delivering on a bounce-back season following the personal distractions early in 2017, the new year presents even more reason to expect him to soar. With his third child arriving in the fall, he'll be able to shift his focus sooner on being ready to burst out of the gates in January. At the end of the long rainbow of the calendar year will be a return to Royal Melbourne for his fifth Presidents Cup (in December). Don't sweat about him averaging 20 starts. -- By Rob Bolton
EQUIPMENT INSIDER: Day popularized the TaylorMade Spider Tour Red putter (with a flow neck) when he first put it into play after the 2016 Masters and used it to win THE PLAYERS Championship that next month. While he’s had brief stints with other putters, he’s still currently using the Spider Tour Red that has taken the PGA TOUR, and professional golf across the globe, by storm. Day most recently made equipment news when he went on Instagram live with TaylorMade’s Tomo Bystedt to test out the new P-760 Forged irons against his current P-750 irons. He had mixed reviews of the new irons from TaylorMade, mainly concerned with the leading edge, so it will be interesting to see whether he and the club designers solve that problem and he makes the switch, or whether he’ll stick with the P-750s. -- By Andrew Tursky
STYLE INSIDER: Slim is in, but at times Day takes the trend to extremes. A bit more width in the chest and sleeves of his polos would still give him an athletic look without being as form-fitting. Day is also one of the big sneakerheads on TOUR and his long-term relationship with Nike helps to support his hobby on and off the course. As result, expect Day to continue to lace up all the new Nike footwear releases in 2019. -- By Greg Monteforte