Day not at full strength entering PGA Championship
July 27, 2016
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- July 27, 2016
- Jason Day's energy level is low entering Round 1 at Baltusrol. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – World No. 1 Jason Day will enter his title defense at the PGA Championship underdone after being struck down by illness in the lead up.
Day took Monday off from practice in an effort to guard against burnout after playing back-to-back at the Open Championship and RBC Canadian Open, the latter in hot and steamy conditions.
But he was also forced to sit out Tuesday after contracting an illness from his children.
Feeling under the weather he decided not to risk his energy levels in the oppressive New Jersey heat.
To make matters worse wife Ellie had an allergic reaction to something late Tuesday night, initiating a call to 911 and a visit to hospital till the early hours of Wednesday morning.
“I was always going to take Monday off. Dash and Lucy are sick right now, and kind of Dash passed that on to me a little bit,” Day confirmed.
“I'm okay. I'm fine. I'm just a little bit under the weather. Then Ellie had an allergic reaction last night and had to go to the hospital. We were there until two o'clock or something like that. She's fine now. We got a little bit of loss of sleep but we're fine. So I'm kind of running on E right now.”
The whirlwind few weeks has taken its toll and Day knows he essentially needs some time off and dedicated practice time to get his game in peak condition.
His driving accuracy has been off for a month and his mental game has lost a bit of its edge.
But with this current packed schedule, lengthy practice sessions are a luxury he can’t afford.
“With the limited practice and limited prep that I've had this week, I'm not coming into this week expecting a lot. I mean, obviously I'm expecting to win, but like I'm not really going, all right, you need to go out and force things straightaway,” Day said.
“More concerning for me is I just need to feel, even though I'm comfortable with winning, I need to get back to the point where I feel like I go out there and win every single week.
“Currently with the tournaments and how they are mixed up, I really haven't had time to practice. Haven't had any time off. Pretty much week off and straight back into it. Leaving Sunday and you're back on Tour again.
“I've got to really try and manage my patience out there, because I have very little patience right now. Just for some reason, every time I get a little bit under the weather, I've got zero patience. I've got to try and manage that the best I can.”
Day is accustomed to heading to major championship venues well ahead of time and getting in extensive reconnaissance. His usual routine by tournament week is to play no more than nine holes of practice a day.
Having been unable to scout the venue early caddie Colin Swatton has tried to make up the shortfall, extensively mapping the layout and checking all corners of the course for possible danger zones.
Day did manage to take his place at the PGA Champions dinner on Tuesday night before Ellie’s reaction, where he hosted former champs to a dinner of grilled prime rib eye steak, mashed potatoes, broccoli and asparagus with chocolate molten lava cake and vanilla ice cream for dessert.
He spent significant time talking with Baltusrol’s head professional Doug Steffen trying to garner as much inside knowledge as possible.
“I haven't played a practice round. I haven't seen the course. I don't know what it looks like,” Day said Wednesday morning.
“I went through pretty much every hole with him (Steffen) for about 20, 30 minutes.
“I'm going to try and touch them all today, but obviously the prep's been a little on the lighter side. So I need to come in and try to get a good, solid 18 holes in today so I kind of know where I'm going.”
Jason Day on lack of preparation before the PGA Championship