NORTON, Mass. – After a season full of doubt and too many trips to the doctor’s office, Jason Day was pleased just to be on the golf course this week. That he is pain free and playing well enough to see his name on the leaderboard was just a bonus.
For the second consecutive week, the Australian is in the hunt. This time, at the Deutsche Bank Championship after an opening 66. It’s the kind of flourish to close the season that didn’t seem likely when he was forced to miss nearly two months because of a thumb injury.
“It’s a huge relief,” said Day, who closed his bogey-free round with three consecutive birdies. “The stress was tough. Just not knowing if you’re going to play again. Your mind wanders and you think, ‘Is this the end for me?’”
Since returning from the DL, however, Day has quickly put those thoughts to rest after finishing tied for 15th at the PGA Championship and runner-up last week at The Barclays.
Day said there is still soreness in his left thumb and he is no longer taking the anti-inflammatory medication that caused a bout with vertigo at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. In fact, the only lingering effect of the injury has been a decline in his driving distance.
“Jordan (Spieth) and Patrick (Reed) outdrove me today and they both asked, ‘Have you lost some distance?’” said Day, who averaged 287 yards off the tee on Friday, 12 yards shorter than his season average. “I’m hitting it nowhere right now but I’m just trying to get it in the fairway.”