PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Jason Day says he has the “inside scoop” on Oakmont Country Club, site of next month’s U.S. Open outside Pittsburgh.
“My agent is a member there,” crowed the world No. 1 after winning the Players Championship on Sunday. “He's from Pittsburgh, and he's a member there.”
Day’s first trip to Oakmont took place a dozen years ago, while his agent, Bud Martin, was still recruiting him. The match that day was Day and his caddie/coach Colin Swatton against Martin and his close friend Joe O’Donnell, an accomplished amateur who played at the University of Miami.
Uncle Joe, as Day remembers him, made a fistful of birdies that day -- “All I did was fetch the hot dogs and Diet Cokes,” says Martin -- and Martin won a dollar from his future client.
Martin, having met Day for the first time a couple of years earlier and been impressed by the speed of his swing and the precision in which he struck the ball, had the foresight to ask the Aussie to sign the bill.
More than a decade later, Day has 10 wins on the PGA Tour, including a major, a Players and two World Golf Championships titles. Martin has been by his side for all of it.
Uncle Joe was around a lot, too. He really was like family.
But last fall O’Donnell passed away from a heart attack. He was just 61.
Sunday night at TPC Sawgrass, the emotions came flooding back for Martin when Day was asked about going to Oakmont.
“I had tears in my eyes,” Martin said.
As for that dollar bill?
“I still have it in my desk,” Martin continued. “I’ll keep it forever.”