AUGUSTA, Ga. — Jason Day's road to a green jacket took an unexpected—or some would argue, expected—turn on Thursday.
According to the ESPN Masters broadcast, Day re-injured his back before the first round of the 2019 Masters. The 2017 PGA champ aggravated the area by picking up his daughter, Lucy.
After bogeying the first hole at Augusta National, cameras caught Day receiving treatment on his back, laying on the second tee box as a trainer attempted to stretch him out.
The treatment apparently worked, as Day birdied the second hole, and has continued playing, on the fourth hole at the time of publication.
Day's injuries have become a hot button as of late. The Aussie pulled out of Bay Hill, his ninth career WD. He later told Golf Digest's Dave Shedloski that an MRI revealed an injury to his L4-L5 discs. He woke up the Sunday before the Arnold Palmer Invitational and "couldn't really walk" because of back pain. Alas, some on social media questioned the severity of his pain as he was at Disney World with his family the following day.
At TPC Sawgrass, the 31-year-old responded to the outcry generated by his family outing..
"I don't care," Day said. "Like if people make memes about me, I think a lot of them are funny. I think that—I mean, it's fine. It is what it is. People trying to be funny and that, I get a good laugh out of it and I'm OK with that. You can tell between people that are being funny and people that are actually trying to—that really hate you.
"It's unfortunate, but it just reflects what they are as a person, because it means—I don't have a problem with them, they have a problem with me. So it's more on them than myself."
Since withdrawing from the API, Day has played three times, finishing T-8 at the Players but missing the weekend at the Valspar Championship and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
This is Day's ninth Masters appearance. He has three top-10 finishes, highlighted by a runner-up in 2011.
UPDATE: Day's management told Golf Digest that Day hurt his back not picking his daughter up but by leaning down to kiss her. Though Day did not stop to talk to media, his management said Day's back was already feeling sore heading into the week. Day finished with a two-under 70, four shots out of the lead.