Jason Day says his British Open loss coupled with his bounce back win is a ‘game changer’ for his career going forward as he looks to break his major championship drought.
Day knew what losing a major felt like well before his recent British Open tilt where the world No.4 failed to muster a birdie in his last 12 holes, missing a playoff by a stroke.
The Queenslander now has nine top 10s in 20 majors, six of which are top four results, but he was able to get over the disappointment quickly to finish with three straight birdies the following week to win the Canadian Open.
And while the freight train closing effort that included a clutch 22-foot make on the 18th has provided a massive boost to Day and a big statement to his critics it was the calm he found in the loss that he singled out.
“The week prior at the Open Championship was a game changer for me, just to be able to understand how to communicate with Colin (caddy) and to be patient with myself and to not stop fighting,” Day said.
“It is hard to explain but I just had a much more calm feeling leading into the final round and all week really and it changed me and the way I look at myself.
“Usually I am very nervous the night before and day of a final round but the Open Championship was different and I just felt like I was ready.”
Day conceded he was devastated after leaving his birdie putt short on 18 at St Andrews but walked away solid in the knowledge he was on the right track.
“The 72nd hole (in Canada) was a good way to turn around really quick and know that I can do it and show people that I can do it and stomp my foot on the ground and say, no, that’s enough. I can get it done,” he said.
Day is keen to keep his newfound confidence and calm heading towards the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits next week by producing another big performance at this week’s World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.
It was a year ago his now ongoing vertigo issues surfaced and he was forced to withdraw and he hasn’t been a factor since a tie for fourth back in 2011.
“The way I closed in Canada is obviously powerful to draw on,” Day said.
“It’s tough though because vertigo, I can’t get rid of, and it will come back whenever it wants to. So I’m just trying to manage it the best I can. I’m trying to adapt.
“But I feel good. I’m feeling ready to go. So I’m excited about the week, and the next two weeks are going to be a lot of fun for me.”
Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Steven Bowditch, Nick Cullen and Andrew Dodt round out the Australian tilt in the elite no-cut field.