Monday Finish: Day leaves more answers than questions at BMW
September 21, 2015
By D.J. Piehowski, PGATOUR.COM
- Jason Day after winning the BMW Championship on Sunday. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Welcome to the Monday Finish, which was mostly written Thursday evening.
When Jason Day birdied four of his first six holes at Conway Farms on Thursday, the golf tournament already felt like it was over. He's become one of those players.
We wouldn't have felt that way about (almost) any other player in the field at the BMW Championship. So much can happen over nine holes of PGA TOUR golf, let alone 66. But, because it was Day, this Day, from which we've seen constant incredible things this summer, it was clear that it wouldn't. And it didn't.
Instead, Day kept sprinting faster than the rest of the players in the top 70 in the FedExCup race, cruising to another six-shot win, his second of the Playoffs. It's his fifth win of the season and his fourth in six starts. Moreover, it leaves us with an even clearer picture of the player that Day has become in 2015, as well as the (very short-term) state of golf.
Even if loses the ranking this week, Day is clearly World No. 1.
Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy may have been bouncing back and forth on this one the past few weeks, but it's been clear who the world's best player has been since July. Day finally backed up the claim he has stuck to since age 13 by officially becoming World No. 1 on Sunday.
He can win on any type of golf course.
Look at Day's record this year (and before). He's won on long courses and short courses. He's won on wet courses and firm courses. Majors and non-majors.
When he's on, he has the most dominant game in golf.
As one collegue said this week at Conway Farms, Day drives it like McIlroy and has a short game like Spieth. In the six starts since The Open, Day has been in the top 15 in strokes gained: putting in all but one start. Over the same stretch, he's been in the top five in driving distance each week, leading the field at BMW. In the final round, he only had two par-4 approaches that were longer than 150 yards. His proximity from the rough was better than his proximity from the fairway this week.
In other words, he's hitting it so far and leaving in such short clubs, that the rough is just not as penal.
Any self-doubt Jason Day had is gone.
Day has talked at length about how difficult it can be to finally believe in yourself in big moments, and how that has kept him from winning more in the past. This week, faced with his largest and most outspoken goal, World No. 1, he discussed how difficult it would be.
"The last two days were very, very emotional for me, very hard to sleep at night, knowing that I had the chance to get to No. 1," he said. "I've been in here the last four days, but it's been very, very difficult for me to try and downplay getting to No. 1 because I've really wanted to reach this goal for a very long time now."
He made it look easy. Again.
That only leaves one question: Who is the player of the year?
I'll let you debate that one in the comments.
(A quick look at what the world of golf thinks of Jason Day right now.) pic.twitter.com/6ESmP8HcEw— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 18, 2015
THIS WEEK'S FIVE BEST STATS
1) Jason Day has now posted 20 under par in three different events this season. It's the first time someone has done that three times since Tiger Woods did so in 2006.
2) This marks five wins for 27-year-old Jason Day. Throwing out Tiger Woods (who won five-plus times in five consecutive years before turning 28), the last player to win five times in a season before age 28 was Tom Watson in 1977.
3) Jason Day is now 67 under par over his last four PGA TOUR events. The lowest four-tournament stretch this season came from Brandt Snedeker, who was 72 under from the Humana Challenge to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
4) Jason Day becomes the second Australian to win five times in one season. The only other to do it: Jim Ferrier in 1951.
5) Through the first two rounds, Day reached 18 under par. No one else got to 18 under for the rest of the week.
THIS WEEK'S THREE BEST VIDEOS
1) It's not often we get aces from our superstars, so this one takes the cake this week.
Jordan Spieth’s ace sets off fireworks on No. 2 at BMW Championship
2) The tournament never seemed more unreachable for the rest of the field than Friday afternoon, when Jason Day walked in this 42-foot eagle putt at No. 18.
Jason Day's fantastic finish on No. 18 at BMW Championship
3) From the wildcard category, I give you this shot from Fabian Gomez.
Fabian Gomez plays through from the grandstands at BMW Championship
ODDS AND ENDS
Jason Day has talked since he was 13 years old about wanting to be World No. 1. Here's the earliest video we have in the PGA TOUR archives.
Not to be forgotten in Jason Day's dominant win: He also had a chance to shoot 59, needing to hole this pitch shot at No. 9 first thing Friday morning.
And not to be forgotten in Jordan Spieth's ace: He bought deep dish pizza and beer for the entire media center.
Speaking of that 59 attempt, Spieth wasn't impressed. Or maybe he just needed to shake up the monotony of talking about how great Day is playing.
Finally, we'll leave you with this: In a city that built up Jordan and Pippen and Jackson, we give you the newest Chicago basketball star: Gary Woodland.