AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Regaling the Masters media center with insightful quotes and unusually frank optimism, World No. 1 Jason Day clarified for those wondering about the bad back that flared up at the WGC Dell Match Play.
“Right now, I'm not even thinking about it because I don't have any problems at all," Day said. "My back is fine and health is fine and everything's great.”
Speaking for a half hour to a packed media center, Day appeared in great spirits and was even more engaging than normal.
Besides his obvious fascination with the world ranking based on multiple references to having grabbed the top spot, Day seems to be feeding off of his recent showdown with Rory McIlroy in the Match Play. He would embrace a shootout of top players, even if he loses.
“It helps me either way. But I want the best playing against the best, and fighting out for it. If I ended up not ‑‑ if I end up not wearing the green jacket at the end of Sunday but I have a fantastic competitive match on Sunday against the best players in the world, that's what I'm there for. I enjoy and thrive off that competitiveness. I would enjoy a Spieth‑McIlroy‑Fowler‑Scott‑Watson‑Mickelson Sunday. That would be a lot of fun.”
Day was also asked about his recent comments to David Feherty about nearly quitting the game. It was a second place finish here at Augusta National that changed his mind.
“That day when I was sitting in the bus, I was sitting across the road in a bus," Day said. "Had my agent, my wife and a sports psychologist, and we're just sitting there, and I'm like, I just do not like the game right now. I'm just having a very, very hard time picking up the golf club to even just enjoy myself out there.
“So we come to the conclusion of just going and saying, this might be my last Masters ever playing, I may as well enjoy it. So I went out there and finished second (laughter). And then I loved the game again. It can be very ‑‑ golf is a very emotionally ‑‑ it's emotional highs and lows in the game of golf, and times when you're going through very, very rough times and you're hating the game, usually it's because you're not working hard enough; and it was. But when you're thinking about getting rid of caddies and coaches and agents and sometimes wives (laughter) ‑‑ that wasn't me, trust me. You have to pull your whole team in together.”
The team has been pulled together, and so has the back.