Jordan Spieth has emerged as arguably the most popular golfer in the world this year with his two major victories and dominating performances over the last five-plus months. So when Jason Day was paired with Spieth for the final round of the PGA Championship on Sunday, he knew plenty of fans would be rooting against him.
What Day may not have expected, however, is how animated some of those fans would be.
After the 27-year-old captured the first major win of his career, he revealed that fans were yelling “choke!” at him down the stretch.
“(Spieth) was a heavy favorite. I could hear the fans… some people were out there going ‘choke, choke, choke’ to me. Some people weren’t very friendly,” Day said, per Phil Lutton of The Sydney Morning Herald. “That’s something that builds character, that builds mental toughness. To play alongside him (Spieth) and for him to tell me ‘there’s nothing I could do today’, I played good golf.”
Day finished the PGA Championship at 20-under, which is the lowest 72-hole score ever recorded in a major tournament. Prior to winning at Whistling Straits, he had knocked on the door several times with two top-three finishes at the Masters, a pair of runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open and a fourth-place finish at the British Open last month. Day has also dealt with some scary bouts of vertigo, including one that caused him to collapse to the ground during the U.S. Open this year.
We know fans can be pretty cold when rooting for their favorite players, but many of them probably didn’t know Day’s story. He lost his father to cancer at age 12. Day’s mother made infinite sacrifices to send him to boarding school and make sure he got the golf instruction he needed.
Jason Day’s most vocal supporter week in and week out is his wife Ellie. On Sunday, Mrs. Day did her best to make sure her husband had a few more fans in his corner during the final round of play at the PGA Championship.
With Jason leading the field heading into Sunday, Ellie took to Twitter to give away four free tickets to watch the drama unfold at Whistling Straits. They disappeared quickly, as expected.
Hey people… Anybody need tickets for today? I have four to give away!
Jason Day rallied from his collapse on Friday to gut out one heck of a third round Saturday at the US Open that left the fans, media, and especially his wife stunned over his performance.
After carding a two-under 68 in the first round Thursday and a par 70 Friday, Day once again shot two under Saturday to tie himself for the tournament lead. His 68 Saturday was the second-best score of the round behind only Louis Oosthuizen, who shot a four-under 66.
Throughout his round and afterwards, his wife Ellie was cheering him on via Twitter:
Hang tough baby you got this. So proud of you Day. @JDayGolf
The Days have been married for nearly six years, but they only recently expanded their family. Jason said prior to the tournament that he is severely sleep deprived partly because he has to chase around his young son. Here is the full story on how the two met.
Jason Day collapsed on the final hole of his second round of the U.S. Open on Friday after suffering from a bout of vertigo.
This issue of dizziness has ailed Day for a while; last year he withdrew from the Bridgestone Invitational because of dizziness. He also pulled out of the Byron Nelson Classic three weeks ago because of similar problems.
“I feel good,’’ Day said on Monday via the NY Post. “I had three sleep studies done. I had a lot of blood tests done. I had an MRI on my head and my back and everything came back negative. So I have no idea what that was, other than I just may have been exhausted.
“I was training so hard, I was doing two-a-days every day coming into tournaments and then on top of it I was doing practice, playing competitive golf and then trying to balance that with family, as well.
“It’s just a full-time kind of gig there, and I think I just ran out of gas and I wasn’t feeling good, so I had the shakes and the tingling up my arms. And the loss of energy and strength was probably caused by that. I’ve got severe sleep deprivation, so I guess that’s part and parcel of having a kid.
“I feel good this week. I just literally walked into the room and come off a half an hour nap, so I’m all good to go.’’
Though Day reiterated that he felt good, the reality is that he wasn’t doing so well Friday. He collapsed on the final hole but still recovered to save bogey. He enters Saturday’s play tied for ninth at two under.
Jason Day collapsed on the final hole of his second round at the U.S. Open on Friday. The 27-year-old could be heard on the telecast telling paramedics he was dealing with a bout of vertigo.
Day has been dealing with dizzy spells for quite some time. He withdrew from a tournament last August due to vertigo. He backed out of another event several weeks ago and cited severe dizziness as the reason.
After remaining down for several minutes, Day was able to get to his feet and gather himself enough to hit out of a bunker and save bogey. Here’s a video that shows how suddenly he went to the ground.
Day said he was feeling well heading into the U.S. Open, and he sure looked it prior to the 9th hole (his 18th) on Friday. He entered the day at 2-under and just a few shots off the lead, and he remained there with a score of 70 in the second round.
Anyone who has ever dealt with vertigo knows how suddenly it can come and go. Hopefully Day is able to take part in the third round on Saturday.
Jason Day’s wife Ellie Day (formerly Ellie Harvey) says her husband is happy that Tiger Woods was not disqualified from the Masters.
Woods was believed to be facing disqualification Saturday morning after he admitted to taking a drop a few yards behind where he was supposed on the par-3 15th hole Friday. Woods said he didn’t know his drop was illegal, so he escaped with just a two-shot penalty. The situation was heavily debated and some people thought Woods should have withdrawn for signing an incorrect scorecard.
Day, who was the leader after two rounds, apparently wanted Woods in the tournament.
Ellie Day responded to a tweet from AP golf writer Benjamin Everill, who said he was wondering what Day thought of the situation. Ellie said that her husband would want Tiger in the tournament.
Hopefully this time, Augusta will be accommodating. By now even the most casual golf fans have heard of Jason Day. Having only turned 24 this month, Day is one of the best young golfers in the world. His father, Alvyn, got him interested in golf when Day was only a young boy. By the time he was 12 and his father had lost a battle with cancer, Jason was already a relatively well-known golfer. Now, he hopes to be able to fulfill one of Alvyn’s dying wishes by spreading his ashes at Augusta National this year.
“It’s a plan but obviously if I don’t get clearance from Augusta, I am not going to do it,” Day said according to an AP report that Devil Ball Golf passed along. “That was one of my dad’s wishes and if I was allowed to do it, that would be great. Obviously, I know how the rules are at Augusta, it would be probably very unlikely, but we will see how it goes.”
As you may remember, Augusta made national headlines back in April for more than just The Masters when a female reporter was denied access to the locker room. Women are typically not allowed to be members at Augusta and thus are not allowed in the clubhouse, but a security staff member quickly learned that those rules do not apply to reporters. Augusta officials apologized for the incident, but many people were offended and are still unhappy about it.
With that in mind, I sincerely hope they do not throw some sort of crazy policy at Day when he asks if he can fulfill his father’s wish. Even if there is some sort of rule that would prevent him from being able to spread the ashes, situations like this remind us that rules are meant to be broken.