The Loop

The forgotten youth

March 14, 2009

It was not long ago that Jason Day of Australia was among the more heralded young players in the world, a star in training, who at 19 had become the youngest player ever to win a PGA Tour-sanctioned event (the Nationwide Tour's Legend Financial Group Classic). But he's ceded his place in golf's youth movement to Rory McIlroy, Danny Lee, Ryo Ishikawa and, at 23, the veteran of the group, Anthony Kim.

Day, however, could at least re-introduce himself to the conversation this weekend. Still only 21, Day is the co-leader of the Puerto Rico Open, and though it's the equivalent of an off-broadway event, it's still the PGA Tour, and a victory would restore the tour exemption he lost by finishing 136th on the money list in his rookie year last year.

The most noise he has created as a professional came off the course, with his bold statement regarding Tiger Woods and his intent to supplant him as the No. 1 player in the world. "I'm sure I can take him down," Day said late in 2007, a statement for which he was roundly criticized and ridiculed.

Kids say the darndest things.

-- John Strege