Major makes Jason’s Day

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Even though he beat our own, ever-improving Branden Grace in the process, Day was a popular winner the world over, because few golfers – save for Dustin Johnson, perhaps – have got closer to a breakthrough Major in recent years without quite getting over the line.

Even he was relieved to no longer be part of the list of greatest golfers never to win a Major. And, on this form, Day should win a few more yet.

The striking thing about the 27-year-old is the manner in which he goes absolutely full throttle at every shot.

There is not a shred of fear, but perhaps being afraid of failure goes out the window when you come from the depths of despair that Day has risen from.

When you take the time to delve deeper into the rags to riches tale he has travelled over the last two decades, you realise that slick four-foot putts hold fewer nightmares for Day than most.

Golf has a traditional image of upper crust society, of child prodigies whose short games are honed during meticulous hours in their vast back gardens, where a special green has been carved out of the land, and the butler waits on hand with countless supply of balls.

And yet, that fanciful image of golf being one for the privileged few is fast diminishing.

Some of golf’s most enduring champions have come from the wrong side of the track, turning to the game as the last resort to make something of themselves.

Day, too, came from the other side of the hazard fence, where dreams die and bad apples are born.

When his father passed on while he was young, and his mother was struggling along, it would have been easy for Day to view life with a great deal of resentment.

Had he bulldozed his way through school, and withered away into a life of nothingness, we may never have been privy to the scenes at Whistling Straits last weekend.

But, instead of taking the less demanding way out, Day went in for the long grind.

The massive sacrifices his family – especially his mother – made for him to realise his dream went beyond the call of duty.

But clearly, the Days knew they were investing in something special.

He could easily have had a Masters green jacket already, but that wasn’t to be.

The vertigo that hit him during this year’s US Open put paid to his chances there, and even the Claret Jug was within touching distance, until he just missed out on a play-off.

So, truly, the win at the PGA Championship could very easily have been the one that completed a career Grand Slam for Day, had all the chips fallen his way.

But, as he well knows, this wonderful game of moer en soek is more about managing your shortcomings, rather than indulging your strengths.

Day’s graduation to the big time still catches him off guard.

He expressed his shock at the vast sums he now makes on a weekly basis, compared to the single salary his mum had to stretch across an entire family, and to invest in a burning desire for greatness.

It is this grounded outlook, the one that forces Jason Day to never forget where he came from, that will allow him to go places he never thought possible before.

Between Day, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, the game may have found it’s next, great rivalry.

If only we could fast forward to early April 2016, down a tree-lined lane, where success is measured simply by the colour of your jacket…

Original source: Major makes Jason’s Day

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