The clock is ticking for Jason Day.
The former world No. 1 needs to play his way into the top 60 in the world ranking over his next few starts or he won’t be at next month’s U.S. Open. He said Wednesday that he won’t participate in the 36-hole sectional qualifier because of a sponsor commitment on June 7.
After missing the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship – his sixth straight event without a top-10 – Day dropped from No. 59 to No. 62 in the world ranking. The top 60 after next week’s PGA Championship and The Memorial (June 3-6) automatically qualify for the U.S. Open. Day said that he has a scheduled event for NetJets the Monday after Memorial and intends to participate in that rather than the two-round qualifier.
“I’m not going to qualify – I’ve got to earn my way into that spot,” Day said Wednesday at the AT&T Byron Nelson. “It’s nothing against qualifying for a tournament. It’s just that in my mind, I’ve got to earn it. ... It’s interesting to be in this situation. To be honest, I’m totally content where I am right now. I’m here for a reason. What do I need to do to get out of it and push forward and get my ranking back where it needs to be.”
Complicating matters is that Day's wife, Ellie, is expecting the couple’s fourth child in the next few weeks. “I’m on call waiting for her,” he said.
It’s been more than three years since Day last won a tournament, but he’s enjoyed plenty of success at Torrey Pines. He’s won there twice, including in 2018, and has six other top-10 finishes. More important to Day right now is rediscovering his game under new swing coach Chris Como.
“Majors are very, very important,” he said, “but right now they’re not important – they’re more important when I feel like my game is in a position to win. Right now, I feel like my game is in position to win if I get lucky.
“But that’s kind of before last week. I don’t know how I’m going to play this week, but for the first time in a long time, I feel really good about where my game is at.”