Jason Day credits fatherhood for providing the focus, perspective and calmness required to become a major golf champion.
Day admits he struggled to juggle the demands of life on the US PGA Tour and parenthood when son Dash was born in 2012, the year after he burst to international prominence with a runner-up finish at the Masters.
“Personally, it was very difficult for me at the start,” Day said during a teleconference with Australian journalists.
“It was tough because being a golfer, we’re so selfish with our time and what we need to do to stay competitive. The first six months were hard.
“There is no real way to prepare yourself for having a child other than just getting thrown in the deep end pretty quick.”
Deep will be thrust even deeper in responsibility in November when wife Ellie is due to deliver the couple their second child.
But with family the top priority, regardless how much he craves golf’s top ranking, the world No.3 has already decided to sit out the Australian Open once again to remain at home in Ohio.
“I’d probably be in the doghouse if I left,” he said.
“I’m excited about what is happening to me and what is going to happen to my family with the new baby, but I’m sad I couldn’t come back because I really wanted the Australian people to cherish this moment I had last week with me and the trophy.”
Day says his shift in attitude has been a telling change for the better for the one-time wild child who lost his own father at 12 to cancer.
“The stuff I used to get angry or frustrated with before, it has definitely mellowed me out,” said the newly crowned US PGA champion.
“I think that is a good thing for me, especially on the golf course.
“When I got heated, it used to happen pretty quick. Something would frustrate me, I would hit a bad shot and then I would make mistakes.”