Mexico Open at Vidanta

Vidanta Vallarta

The Loop

Day battling more than the golf course

May 20, 2010

IRVING, Texas -- Standing on the practice range prior to his tee time on Thursday, Jason Day realized he'd forgotten his umbrella in the back of his car. The obvious next move for Day would have been to go back to the car to retrieve the umbrella. But it wasn't that easy for the 22-year-old Aussie.

Given how sick Day was feeling at that time, he contemplated heading back to his car and just heading home, as opposed to playing in an event that would have amounted to a home game for the Dallas resident.

"I felt really, really awful [this morning]," Day said. "The medicine that I take upsets my stomach really bad. I was actually pretty close to pulling out of the event.

"I actually felt like just getting in my car and driving back home, but I thought about it again and decided to come play. It was a good idea."

Day's decision looks good after the first round. He was the clubhouse leader at the HP Byron Nelson Championship after firing a four-under 66 that included 10 one-putts and 13 of 18 greens in regulation.

Day credited his improved play to a number of factors, most notably a correct diagnosis of a virus that had been ailing him for the past four-plus months. After being told by six different doctors that he had Swine influenza and bronchitis by, and he was still feeling sick, Day decided to take a next-door neighbor's advice to go see a local doctor in the Dallas area.

"I saw a doc - actually an allergist [on Monday], and he said that I had a chronic sinus infection; it's just been really frustrating," Day said. "Now I'm on these heavy antibiotics that make me very sick."

The "chronic sinus infection" is one of many ailments that have plagued his young career recently. He's also dealt with a right wrist injury and back injury that have made for a very frustrating couple of years for one of the game's up-and-coming players.

"It's a slow process," Day said, commenting on the arduous task of rehabbing multiple injuries and a virus at the same time. "You know, me being a young guy, I realize how tough it is to win on the PGA Tour [more] now than I ever have before.

"I took it for granted a little bit. I came out the next year and didn't practice as hard. I thought I was going to win guaranteed and with that, I didn't play well. Now I've gotten back to practicing harder and working on the right things, and I've turned it around."

-- Jonathan Wall