TROON, Scotland - Consider world No. 1 Jason Day a glass-half-full kind of guy.
Two weeks ago, he was tied for the lead heading into the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but after stumbling down the stretch (bogey at 15, double bogey at 16, bogey at 18), Day settled into a tie for third, three shots shy of eventual winner Dustin Johnson.
it was a surprising Sunday from the world's best player, not only because he has the most wins (three) of anyone on Tour this season, but also because Day had converted each of the previous five times he had at least a share of the 54-hole lead.
"To be honest, we're not going to win every single one," Day said in advance of The Open. "It was great to, even though I don't like losing, it was great to be able to learn something from [the loss at Firestone]and turn this into what I would say a learning experience and try to move forward and get better from it. ... You have to look at it in a positive light that, okay, I did this for a reason. I've got to try to get better and move on. If I can do that, then you can't do anything but go up.
All that positivity aside, Day did add: "It sucked. It was really bad. I hated losing. It was a terrible way to lose, and it was frustrating and disappointing."
Of course, Day knows better than anyone what a loss can do to motivate a player. It was at The Open at St. Andrews one year ago that Day left short his birdie putt that would have gotten him into a playoff. Those few inches have turned into immeasurable success.
Day went on to win the RBC Canadian Open the very next week, the PGA Championship and two FedEx Cup Playoff events to close the season, before picking up his torrid pace this season with wins at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the WGC-Dell Match Play and The Players.
"Coming so close last year was definitely a motivational factor in that I would love to one day hold the claret jug and be able to put my name down in history with the best that have ever lived and played the game. So I'm very excited to be here and looking forward to a nice, challenging week."