ATLANTA – With 36 holes remaining in his season Jason Day’s mind veered away from the immediate to the long term.
“In the off-season I've got to get a handle of my injuries and move forward and hopefully I don't have any problems in the future,” he said.
In order, Day won the WGC-Match Play Championship in February, missed nearly two months with a left-thumb injury, withdrew from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with vertigo, which was caused by the anti-inflammatory medication he was taking, and again last week at the BMW Championship with an ailing back.
Considering that medical history, it’s a minor miracle he’s even in the field at East Lake, but he took that unlikely finish a step further on Friday when he carded his second-consecutive 67 to move into a share of second place at the finale.
“Still not 100 percent because I can still feel it,” Day said of his balky back. “But I mean that's just injuries. I can still feel my thumb. Playing with little niggling injuries it's definitely not the spot you want to be in. But it's something where you just have to suck it up and play and try and fight for the win.”
Adding to Day’s bizarre season was a replacement caddie, Jason Goldsmith, on Friday. Goldsmith, Day’s mental coach, stepped in midway through Round 1 when the Australian’s normal looper, Colin Swatton, started suffering severe back pain.
“It's been kind of a weird week,” he said. “Obviously withdrawing from last week, having the bad back and Colin not being able to carry because of his back. It's been a funny week. But the commitment level is nice.”