Once fantasy football begins, the golf season effectively ends, though the PGA Tour is usually the last to know. Indifference is the winner.
Then along comes Jason Day, turning the tables on FedEx, delivering it and its often tedious playoffs a surprise: a reason to pay attention in September.
Day, 27, won the BMW Championship on Sunday, a tournament he led from start to finish, and one that solidified his profile as a bona fide star attraction.
The victory was his second in three FedEx Cup playoff events, his fourth victory in eight weeks, his fifth win of the season, and it elevated him to No. 1 in the World Ranking.
Unless these last few months have been an aberration, golf finds itself even more strongly positioned to ease the transition away from Tiger Woods than it had been with Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.
It has been a remarkable run for Day, beginning with the British Open, when he missed the playoff by a shot. He won the RBC Canadian Open the following week, the PGA Championship three weeks later, and the Barclays to open the FedEx Cup playoffs.
“It’s tough to explain,” he said. “I’ve just been working so hard. All I want to do is win. That’s been my mentality. Ever since the Open Championship, something changed in my head. I felt like it was my time to start winning tournaments. Ever since then it’s been a phenomenal run.”
Day, 27, opened the BMW Championship with rounds of 61 and 63, took a six-stroke lead into the final round and relinquished no part of it on Sunday at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill.
“Yesterday and today were the toughest rounds I ever had to play in my entire life, just knowing that I had the opportunity to get to number one,” he said. “Stepping up and playing the way I did today was great, just to really understand what I put into my game to get to where I am today.”
Where he is is at a destination he mapped out for himself as a 13-year-old in Australia. Eight years ago, he indelicately revealed his goal to the world.“I’m sure I can take [Tiger Woods] down. My goal is to be the number one golfer in the world and I want to chase Tiger.”
He took no small measure of grief for so boldly voicing what at the time seemed preposterous. Ultimately, Tiger and a series of injuries derailed himself.
But Day took care of the No. 1 part by finally figuring out how to win, the very definition of a Day dream fulfilled.