Jason Day is healthy after a long recovery from a thumb injury that has kept him from competition since The Masters, “The thumb, it’s totally fine. At the start of the injury, I thought it would be a two, three‑week [break] and it will be fine. But it just gradually got worse and worse.” It was an unfortunate situation for Day because he won the WGC-Accenture Match Play in February, but could only manage one more start at The Masters. He will have an opportunity for a storybook comeback in front of the hometown crowd at The Memorial.
Day is one of the most athletic players on Tour, and he was displeased with his most recent injury, “It was really frustrating, because everything felt great. My whole body felt great except for one thing, my thumb. And you don’t understand, as a lot of people here probably don’t understand that. You can probably get away with maybe a bad back or a bad knee, but if you can’t hold the club, then that’s obviously ‑‑ it’s not fun. So you have to ‑‑ you underestimate your hands and the fingers.”
Playing at Augusta, where Day finished T20, didn’t help with his recovery, “It was sore then. And that probably set me two to three weeks back in my schedule to come back. So all said and done, with Augusta mixed in there, I’ve been out for three months, and that’s a long time.”
Before the injury, Day was all set to have a career year. His win at the match play moved him to number four in the world golf rankings. However, things didn’t work out smoothly for the 26-year-old.
Day’s comeback begins on his home course, Muirfield Village. He is originally from Australia, but he settled in Columbus, Ohio because of the proximity to his in-laws. The hometown crowd will be pulling for him, but Day knows he must focus on executing shots, “So the past results, I think I may have put too much pressure on myself just because I want to play well in front of the family. And it’s such a huge ‑‑ obviously it’s my home course, so everyone’s expecting you to go out there and play well. But I just got to put that out of my mind, and just go out there and focus on what I need to do. And that’s to play, to put myself in position and in contention on Sunday.”
Day also spoke about getting ready for the U.S. Open, “And the U.S. Open is obviously huge. I was at Pinehurst two years ago, played nine holes there. And I love the changes. I’m looking forward to the challenge.” He added, “I know you’ll require a lot of good short game around there. I’ve been working on my short game very, very hard over this last week.”
Day is paired with Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy at 1:16 pm ET on Thursday.
–Bernie D’Amato (@bdamato711)
Quotes are courtesy of ASAP Sports.