Jason Day Wields Mind Games to His Advantage at Match Play
By Stephanie Wei under European PGA Tour

Jason Day: Game on

Gamesmanship often comes into action during match play, but since golf is a gentleman’s sport, few players will candidly admit to employing such strategies. Not Jason Day, though. Day openly said he played mind games with Paul Casey in his 4&2 victory on Thursday at the Match Play Championship.

On the 13th hole the Australian, who won last year’s HP Byron Nelson Championship, made Casey putt out a one-and-a-half-footer, which usually is conceded, just to irk the Englishman. It apparently worked.

“He looked really angry at me, too,” Day said. “It was only about a foot and a half. … But it’s not about that hole, it’s about the future holes coming on. So if I can make him a little angry, if I can get him out of his game plan and force him to make silly decisions out there, that’s obviously part of the mind games that you play.

“Obviously, match play is a different format to stroke play. At the end of the day, you’re all mates and stuff. But when you’re playing against the guy across from you, you want to try to beat him as quick as possible.”

In his first-round victory over K.T. Kim, Day also confessed to messing with the South Korean by walking in front of him all day. That strategy didn’t work with Casey.

“Paul walks pretty quick, so it was pretty tough to stay in front of him,” said Jason.

Day meets J.B. Holmes in the third round on Friday. I’ll put my money on Day. I can see Holmes getting easily rattled by Jason’s wily tactics.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)