Day to return to deliberate ways
January 03, 2017
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- Jason Day says he is “cautiously optimistic” of an injury-free run in 2017 after some extensive time off and rehab. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
KAPALUA, Hawaii – Golf is looking for ways to speed up, but Jason Day will be slowing down in 2017.
Day has revealed he allowed what others thought about him to influence his golf swing late last year, contributing to his near eight-month winless run.
While the World No.1 was also hampered by a back injury - causing him to miss three months of action after having to WD from both the BMW Championship and TOUR Championship in the race for the FedExCup – Day says his speed of play became an issue.
“I think there were a couple things that I didn't do as well the second half in the season. I wasn't as deliberate going into a golf shot. Gathering the information, I wasn't as deliberate,” Day said as he looks to make his 2017 FedExCup debut at the SBS Tournament of Champions.
“Obviously, everyone wants to speed up the game. Obviously, that's a big subject in golf, to speed up the game. But in my opinion, I don't care so much about speeding up my game. I've got to get back to what makes me good.”
Day admitted media talk and even peer pressure saw him trying to play faster, despite the fact he went on an incredible run of winning seven tournaments in 17 starts doing things his way.
During the success Day estimated he was put on the clock just four times and when he was, he always endeavored to respect the competing field. The 10-time PGA TOUR winner highlighted Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as players who took their time when it mattered.
Jason Day talks about his drought from winning before SBS
“You don’t want to be classed as a slower guy but thinking about it now, when I was playing and competing really well I forgot about that stuff,” he said.
“I didn’t care what people thought and I played better. But I still played fast enough, I wasn’t overly timed, and I played some good golf. I hit a lot more fairways and greens because of it.
"I just have to make sure I am deliberate but still respect other players.
“You have to do everything you can to win. If you are in position and you take a minute over the ball to get what you need to and you are still in position, then that’s fine.
“But if you are out of position then everyone knows, 'Hey we got to move on.' I understand that.”
Day hopes his thoughts do not spill into recreational golf where he still believes a faster pace of play is important. The Australian is rather making a distinction between playing on TOUR and playing with your mates at the local muni.
As for his back injury, Day says he is “cautiously optimistic” of an injury-free run in 2017. After some extensive time off and rehab, he expects to hit the ground running in Kapalua.
He has worked on shortening his back swing to alleviate unnecessary pressure on his back, strengthening his core and minimizing some of his turn. It leaves him hopeful of gaining a new trophy sometime soon.
“Seven months, it really is a long time,” he said of his wait between wins.
“I'm just trying to get stuck back into the process, trying to get better. I feel better about my body, feel better about my game, feel better about my swing. I feel better mentally than I did the second half of last year, so I'm hoping for very good things this year.”
Jason Day news conference before SBS