Without a doubt, Jason Day’s career on the PGA Golf Tour has been a mystery. The 25 year old from Queensland, Australia finds himself teeing it up on Sunday morning with some of the best Match Play opponents on the planet. Does the only double digit seed left in the field have a chance to win the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Sunday? Jason has worked himself up the brackets against a pretty strong field.
Jason Day’s road to the final four at The Dove Mountain Resort included stops at beating the 5 seed Zack Johnson, a scrappy 14 seed who knocked off one of the tournament’s hottest player coming in to the event in Russell Henley, Master champ Bubba Watson, and on Saturday, a very good match play opponent in Graeme McDowell.
Although Johnson, Henley, and Watson are great golfers in their own sense, none are considered great match play opponents, but when he beat Graeme McDowell in a very close 1 up match on Saturday, I’m sure he caught some attention from the golfing community.
What happened to Jason Day in 2012? By all recollection, he vaulted into the spotlight in 2010 when he won the HP Byron Nelson, and started to fizzle out after a 30th place finish at the 2011 British Open, he missed the cut at the PGA Championship the same year. I had the feeling he might have been like so many young players on the tour, got a win, some good finishes, made some money, got lazy, then faded from our memories.
This kid was pretty good when he was good. After wining at Las Colinas, he was invited to the British Open where he picked up a T60 finish, but went on a tear in the majors, finishing in the top 10 at every stop until the 2011 British Open. He finished T 10 at the 2010 PGA Championship, a T 2 at the 2011 Masters, and finished alone in second place at the US Open behind a run-away Rory McIlroy in the Nations Capitol. Then poof…he was gone.
In an interview after his Quarter final victory over McDowell, Jason was asked about his resurgence, and said that his team had a meeting late in the 2012 season complaining about his commitment to the game. I’m guessing the team moniker means his wife and caddy, but whatever the case, Jason Day looks to have his golf game back on track, and ready to compete.
Jason has had a good spring with a ninth place finish at the Farmers Insurance Open, in a tournament won by Tiger Woods, but stumbled a bit at Phoenix ending in a T 57 before logging a solid sixth place finish at Pebble Beach. His comeback started at the end of the 2012 season when he picked up a 4th place finish at the JT Shriners in October.
He had to go back to the Web.com tour to make enough money to secure his 2013 tour card where he finished with a T 1 at the Wendy’s Three Tour Challenge, and a T 15 at the World Challenge. Jason Day and his “team” seem to have his career back on track.
He faces a tough challenge on Sunday if he wants to add a WGC event to his resume. He made the sweet 16 in 2011, but he now has to take on some of the best in the business in this format. I have bet against Matt Kuchar all week to no avail, so why change. I’m picking the youngster to continue on to the final, but can’t see him beating Ian Poulter, or Hunter Mahan. But who knows, David did beat Goliath.
Be sure to like our ProGolfNow Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter @ProGolfNow.