UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – Jason Day doesn’t just expect a physical and mental grind this week at the U.S. Open. He welcomes it.
While the Aussie has yet to hoist a major trophy, he has had several close calls at this event. Day finished second both in 2011 at Congressional and in 2013 at Merion, then finished T-4 last year at Pinehurst. After logging some practice time this week at Chambers Bay, he anticipates a demanding test from the USGA.
“They're going to be able to set the course up to where I think it's very challenging but in a way that they're going to try and find the best player that's going to win around here. And I don't have any problem with it,” Day said. “I keep saying to people, U.S. Open is all about controlling your attitude, controlling your emotional level and your stress levels out there because it can be a very frustrating week if you let it be.”
Day has a win at the Farmers Insurance Open to go along with three other top-10 finishes this season, but he has been somewhat derailed in recent weeks. He shot a second-round 81 en route to a missed cut at The Players Championship, then missed the cut at Muirfield Village on a course where he is a member.
Day also withdrew from last month’s AT&T Byron Nelson Championship during the pro-am, citing dizziness. He has since undergone a trio of sleep studies, a series of blood tests and an MRI on his head and neck, all of which have yet to pinpoint the source of his issue.
It’s familiar – if unwelcome – territory for Day, who has battled a myriad of ailments in recent years.
“I don’t know what it is, man. Every time I get off to a decent start, there’s something that happens,” he said. “Over the last couple of years, I’ve been fed up with being injured, fed up with sitting out and watching the guys play without me being there.”
While Day is still waiting on a definitive diagnosis from his latest setback, he is eager to return to action on a course that will test his game and challenge his endurance.
“For me personally, I think the biggest thing is not to beat myself out there. You’ve just got to keep grinding and grinding and grinding, and hopefully by Sunday you’re somewhere around the lead,” Day said. “I’ve taken that into every U.S. Open, and I’ve played pretty well. I’m looking forward to trying to get across the line this week.”