SANDWICH, England – After his hopes of a third straight high finish at a major were dashed by the brutal British weather on Saturday, Jason Day described his painful third round at a rain-soaked Royal St. George’s as “the toughest day I’ve ever played.”
The eighth-ranked Day, second at both The Masters and the U.S. Open this year, carded a 6-over 76 in high winds and pounding rain on the southeast coast of England to virtually end his chances of victory.
On No. 8, a 453-yard par-4 which was playing one of the toughest holes of the day, Day said he and partner Bubba Watson were reduced to bumbling wrecks.
“Standing on No. 8, at one point when it was blowing really hard and the raindrops were massive, we were just laughing at each other. You couldn’t do anything,” said the 23-year-old Australian, who went through three gloves, three hats and five towels during his sodden round.
“At No. 4, I smoked a drive and didn’t reach the fairway. I hit it like 200 yards. It was unreal.”
With an aggregate score of 7 over, Day was nine shots off the clubhouse lead held by American youngster Ricky Fowler. The overnight leaders were still out on the course, with the rain having stopped and the wind relenting just as Day finished his round.
“After No. 15 the weather stopped. I was a little devastated because I thought that the leaders might come back,” he said. “I was just talking to Bubba about it and we both agreed—that was the toughest day we’ve ever played. We have never seen so many people hold down an umbrella sideways.
“It was so hard because I was taking into consideration a 40-mph wind and a difference of four to five clubs. I’m hitting a 2 iron 180 yards. It’s just British Open golf. You can get lucky or unlucky with the weather.”
After surprise second places at Augusta and then behind Rory McIlroy at Congressional last month, Day’s remarkable streak at majors is set to come to an end. He acknowledged, however, that he’d learnt valuable lessons this week in only his second British Open.
“I was hoping for a win after my two seconds, but you can’t win them all,” he said. “There are certain things you can’t control—the weather and, here, the bounces. It’s links golf. I’m learning this over the last couple of years.”