Worried about lapses in concentration during important tournament moments, Jason Day texted 14-time major winner Tiger Woods for a solution.
The answer was short and sharp: “I’ve never had a lapse in concentration.”
It spurred the Australian to an impressive opening round at the Masters.
“I knew I needed to go out and just grind it,” Day said after his five-under 67 left him tied second, three shots behind a red-hot Jordan Spieth.
“It was a long day. I had to be patient. I just said to myself I worked so hard to come here so make sure you are out there focusing.”
The method worked as Day started relatively slowly with a run of seven pars.
He kept his cool and ramped up his challenge with seven birdies in the next nine holes, including five straight from the 12th.
His tee-shot on 16 almost went in the hole.
“I felt great today – it just felt like a normal day.
“Some other days when you are in contention, you get to a point where you’re out of your comfort zone a little bit, but I have played some pretty good golf this year and I feel like I am getting pretty used to playing good golf around here,” he said.
“I just knew that if I could just be patient and give myself opportunities, especially on the back nine, I could get something going.”
The trick for Day, who has two top-three finishes at Augusta, is to maintain the rage, and make sure he continues to maintain his emotions.
He remembers all too well having a two-shot lead on the 16th tee in the final round in 2013 then fading with late bogeys.
“There are three days left and I have to chase a guy who is really killing it right now,” he said.
“I think everyone knows that he’s the one to beat this week. I don’t see it being like that for the rest of the week. I see it gradually getting harder and harder as the week goes on so you just have to be patient.
“Obviously, you want to try and stay with the lead, but you’re just trying to play yourself somewhere into contention for Sunday’s back nine, because that’s where it all happens.”