ORLANDO, Fla. – When Jason Day teed off at 8:23 a.m. (ET) on Thursday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational the temperature was 41 degrees and a stinging wind made it feel even colder.
The Australian, one of the game’s longest off the tee, was immediately impacted by the deep freeze that by some estimates knocked 15 percent off a player’s normal distances.
“I hit 2-iron [drive], 5-iron [approach] into No. 10; 2-iron, 4-iron into 11. Usually you are hitting 2-iron, 9-iron or wedge into 10; and kind of maybe 9-iron or 8-iron into 11,” Day figured.
By lunch time things had began to warm up, but for the early starters on Day 1 there was a distinct disadvantage having to weather the worst of the conditions.
“The 17th hole is playing about 210 [yards] and last week at Tampa I was hitting a 6-iron 210,” said Stewart Cink, who matched Day at 2 under. “Today I hit 3-iron on that hole and I still don't think I could have got it hole high. I missed the green in the bunker.
“It's a three-club difference when it is that cold and that windy and you got all these layers on.”