KAPALUA, Hawaii – The year is just six days old and Jason Day already realizes that he’s lagging behind his stiffest competition.
Day hasn’t hit a competitive shot since October 11 in a losing effort at the Presidents Cup in South Korea. Since then he’s relaxed at home, spent time with his family, wandered on the sidelines of an NFL game, sat courtside at a Cleveland Cavaliers game and his wife delivered the couple’s second child, a daughter named Lucy.
Meanwhile, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and other top-10 players in the world have all played multiple events. Spieth and Fowler both have played three events since the Presidents Cup. Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy (not here at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions) each played four times.
“Most guys are in midseason form,” Day said Wednesday at Kapalua. “These guys are ready, because it just doesn’t stop anymore. There’s no time because the wraparound season. It just keeps going and going and going.”
Day realizes it may take him a couple rounds to shake off all the off-season rust. He’s been practicing for this event for nine days and by the time he hits the first tee shot on Thursday he will have played 72 holes around the Plantation Course.
“It’s a good confidence builder going forward and just really telling me where my game is,” Day said. “My ultimate goal is try to come here and compete and win, and keep the progress from last season going through this season.”
Like with Spieth, many wonder how Day will follow up a successful 2015 campaign that resulted in five PGA Tour wins and a major championship. Day isn’t worried about how he will perform as long as he keeps his eye on the prize.
“If I come to work, and everything has to be 100 percent full bore this year, I’m very motivated to get back to No. 1,” he said. “I’m very motivated to win as many tournaments as I can this year and to be a more dominant player.”
“I’m going to work my tail off every single day to try and achieve that.”