Meticulous Day primed for Masters

Only one question came close to stumping Jason Day in his pre-Masters media conference at Augusta National.

Day has two long-held goals for his career – to reach world No.1 and to win the Masters.

But if he could only achieve one?

“It’s tough,” admitted Day on Monday.

“This is the tournament that got me into golf. And being No.1 has always been a lifelong goal of mine. Just to be able to say you’re No.1, you are the best golfer on the planet, just for one day, would be the best thing ever.

So he’d rather be No.1?

“But to be able to slip on a green jacket … I don’t know,” he said. “That’s a difficult one, mate. I’m dancing around the question.”

World No.5 Day can only achieve one of those goals this week and he is leaving nothing to chance in preparation for his fifth assault on Augusta National, where a win would also take him a lot closer to No.1.

His performance on debut in 2011, where he tied second and a third placing in 2013 when Adam Scott won, have Day, and many others, convinced he can triumph come Sunday evening.

In somewhat bizarre scenes, he spent five hours on Sunday and four hours on Monday playing just nine holes.

The three-time US tour winner called multiple groups to play through as he meticulously worked on chipping and putting around the greens.

“I felt like I wasn’t as sharp with my short game coming in this year,” Day said.

“I feel like my game plan from tee to green is pretty good, but around the greens, you definitely have to have that touch.

“I’ve got to make sure that I’m confident in my game.

“I have to make sure that I manage my emotions and attitude…you have to have everything in line because if there’s one little chink in the armour, everything can unravel here.”

While world No.1 Rory McIlroy is favourite and Tiger Woods is getting the majority of attention, Day is also dealing with pressure of being a hot pick at a major.

“I feel the most pressure here,” Day said. “It’s just a feel about the patrons and the people watching around the world. There’s much more buzz here.

“It’s tough because there’s a lot of expectation for me to go out there and play well.

“Everyone is yelling out, saying `this is your year’ and you have players coming up to you saying, `this is your year’ and sometimes it’s hard to kind of just not get caught up in the moment when you hear that the whole time.

“I kind of involve myself heavily into the preparation just to try and distract myself away from that.

“I know I have the game to win here, now I just have to go out there and finish it off.”

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