2015 Preview: Jason Day
Welcome to the 2015 Golf Preview, where I’ll take a look at selected golfers and examine what to expect over the next twelve months. Today, we look at Jason Day.
After turning pro in 2006, Jason Day failed to qualify for the PGA Tour but won his first tournament on the Nationwide Tour in 2007, becoming the youngest player to win on the tour, helping him finish fifth on the money list. In 2010, Day won his first tournament on the PGA Tour, taking the Byron Nelson Championship and in 2011, Day shot 64 on Friday at the Masters and ended up just two shots behind the eventual winning score of Charl Schwartzel.
In 2014, Day was able to outlast the Seve-like onslaught from Victor Dubuisson to win the WGC-Match Play for his first win on the PGA Tour in nearly four years, but even though the wins haven’t been piling up, Day’s been very successful, especially in majors. In the last two years, Day has finished inside the top-20 in six of the eight majors played, including a solo third at the 2013 Masters and a runner-up finish at the 2013 U.S. Open. Over the last year, Day has remained locked in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Rankings, currently holding down the eighth position.
ESPN’s Jason Day Headshot
ESPN.com has a lot of great golf content, but their player headshots are, shall we say, a little outdated, with Ryan Moore leading the way. As such, I’m introducing the Ryan Moore headshot ranking system. Each player will get a ranking from 1-10, with 10 being the most outdated possible.
Here’s Day’s headshot from ESPN:
Sure, you can tell that this is Jason Day but you can also tell that he pretty much looks like a teenager in this photo. As far as outdated goes, it’s really not that bad though.
Why You Should Watch
I think it’s actually impossible to not like Day’s approach to the game, and like most people, I really believe the best is yet to come. He hits the ball miles from the tee, he’s aggressive, his iron play is superb and on the rare occasion that he’s offline, his recovery game is on point and the putter bails him out too. It is a bit of a mystery to me that he hasn’t won more, but I think I would chalk that up more to the arbitrary nature of the game than anything, and when you look at the results, he plays better in the big events and on the tougher courses, which bodes well for the future, assuming that he can stay healthy.
one three GIFs
I love watching Day swing the club for two reasons: First, the swing itself is nice with no real major flaws, but the thing that always catches my eye is how hard he swings at pretty much every ball. He actually only ranked 34th on the PGA Tour in 2014 in club head speed, but he had significantly fewer measured shots than just about everyone on the list, and on average, my bet is that he actually ranks higher on the list than that. Of course, the way he goes at the ball could be part of the reason why he’s struggled to stay healthy over the last few years and he probably should dial it back a touch, but it’s way more entertaining this way.
One other reason why I like Day moving forward is how high he hits the ball. He ranked second on the PGA Tour in 2014 in apex height, and when we have the benefit of Pro Tracer on a hole, Day is right at the top of the list of players that I want to see tracked.
Can he stay healthy?
Over the last couple of years, the big story with Day hasn’t been about his lack of wins, it’s been about how much time he’s missed or how often we see him wince on the course. It’s pretty amazing that he’s been able to stay as consistent as he has despite the injuries, but I would think that more than anything, Day’s health issues have prevented even more success.
He has the talent to win any tournament on any course, and I just really hope that he can stay healthy enough to do just that.
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