Jason Day has been one of the better under-the-radar stories of this PGA Tour season. The 35-year-old Aussie’s played some of the best golf we’ve seen from him since his days of yore in the mid-2010s.
Day piled up three top-10s and four top-20s on the West Coast swing and added T-10th at Bay Hill on the opposite coast. Three of his top-10s were in designated events, including solo fifth at the WM Phoenix Open.
Day’s already played well in Texas this year, advancing to the quarterfinals at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
He’s cooled off a bit in his last couple starts, but he still made the cut at the Masters (T-39th) and made it until last week’s Wells Fargo Championship before he MC’d in 2023.
Data Golf, which relies more on current form to create a world ranking, has Jason Day at No. 14. That’s 20 spots higher than his position in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Plus, it’s just a good sign Day is staying healthy.
His first of 12 career PGA Tour victories came at the 2010 Byron Nelson.
Day has played both times the event’s been at TPC Craig Ranch. He shot 70-69 in 2021 but was still trunk-slamming after missing the 6-under cut by one.
He improved to T-51st (68-68-73-66) last year.
One of Day’s strengths is his short game. He ranks second on the PGA Tour in scrambling (69.29%) and is 26th in strokes gained per round around-the-green (.315).
Those skills may be negated at a birdie fest like this, but perhaps inclement weather could lead to the field missing more greens than normal.
Day’s eighth in total SG per round (1.824) and is gaining strokes in every category.
He no longer can slingshot his body into being among the leaders in driving distance, but he’s still averaging over 300 yards a pop (303.1) to rank 63rd and be in shouting range of the likes of Rahm, McIlroy, etc.
Day’s at the point of his career where he should be worrying more about Oak Hill next week, but competing against a relatively weak field here in Texas offers one of the best chances to win for the first time since 2018.