Day WDs from the TOUR Championship
September 23, 2016
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- Following his fourth shot on the eighth hole, Jason Day withdrew from the TOUR Championship. (Mike McAllister/PGA TOUR)
ATLANTA -- Jason Day’s quest to win the FedExCup ended on Friday afternoon when he had to withdraw from the TOUR Championship with a back injury.
It is the second straight tournament from which Day has withdrawn. The same back issue forced him to leave prematurely after nine holes in the first round of the BMW Championship two weeks ago.
Still, Day had come to East Lake ranked fourth in the FedExCup. That meant the Aussie, who had spent 25 weeks atop the standings, was among the five players guaranteed the $10 million bonus with a TOUR Championship win.
Obviously, Day is no longer eligible now. And his hopes of winning PGA TOUR Player of the Year honors for the first time have also taken a huge hit.
Day had entered the season finale with three wins, tied with Dustin Johnson for the most on TOUR this year. Among Johnson’s wins is the U.S. Open while Day captured THE PLAYERS Championship.
Johnson came to East Lake ranked No. 1 after winning the BMW Championship. So either of the two frontrunners would earn the FedExCup with a win at East Lake and both were hoping to sway their peers – voting begins Sunday night – with the dual victories.
Johnson’s hopes are still alive, though. He shared the first round lead, one ahead of Day, and was one stroke up on Kevin Chappell at 7 under through 36 holes.
On Friday, Day was even par through his first seven holes. But he hit his drive on the eighth into the water, took a drop and had yet to find the green with his fourth shot.
That’s when he decided to withdraw. Day walked onto the green and told his playing partner, Si Woo Kim, he couldn’t continue, then hopped a golf cart and headed to the parking lot.
The disappointed Day did not stop to speak to reporters before leaving the course. But his management team later issued a statement.
“Jason has a strained ligament in his lower right back with muscle spasm. He withdrew as a precautionary measure. Jason should be fine with some rest after a long break in the offseason.”
Day acknowledged he wasn’t 100 percent after shooting the first-round 67. He said there were several times when he felt a sharp pain when hitting his driver.
“When I get to the top of the swing, as soon as my hips start to unfold and then there’s that little bit of separation, it just crunches down,” Day said on Thursday. “It just hurts.”
Adam Scott, who started the week ranked third in the FedExCup, was disappointed for his friend.
“He’s had a great year,” Scott said. “It must be very serious because he’s having rest anyway for five or six weeks after this.
“He’s the only one who can judge how his back feels. It can’t be that great.”