In the 57 years of stroke play at the PGA Championship, only two players were more shots under par. If anything, just around the greens and being more efficient, really.
World No. 7 Dustin Johnson has had an eventful year to say the least, but he has yet to break through the majors barrier. Day was supreme in closing the deal.
That ends a few days of uncertainty around Sedgefield County Club, the site of the final tournament of golf’s regular season. “It’s probably even harder than getting to number one“.
The triumvirate have now won five of the past six majors – and they’re just part of a talented crop of young players that also includes Players Championship victor Rickie Fowler and 23-year-old Japanese Hideki Matsuyama – victor of the Memorial this year.
“And that feels good to me, because I was the last man standing…” He delivered a record-setting performance at Whistling Straits that brought him a major championship he started to wonder might never happen.
“Golf is in a very healthy stage now”, he said.
He took charge from the get-go and finished the job in style on Sunday, when he was the best player on the course despite new world No1 Jordan Spieth’s relentless brilliance pushing him all the way.
“Overall, I’m just pleased with how things went for me”.
Day’s story is one less ordinary.
All along the way, fate, it seemed, played a hand.
It was there that Day met Swatton, who quickly became a father figure to the young Australian as well as his coach.
“I just need to sharpen up”.
“I accomplished one of my lifelong goals in the sport of golf”, Spieth said. Now the relationship is even stronger (R jumps from 0.11 to 0.18) and Spieth is still sitting way out there by himself while most of the other golfers cluster around the trendline.
He was certainly calm in the face of extreme pressure yesterday, that was until he bent down to mark his ball on the 18th green, knowing he was one 30cm putt away from finally fulfilling one of his childhood dreams – winning a major championship.
In the US Open at Chambers Bay he suffered from benign positional vertigo but finished tied-ninth and, at the Open at St Andrews, he was, like Spieth, a shot out of a play-off in fourth.
“Sometimes you tinker too much and you get to a point where you don’t know what’s natural any more”.
So, this was overdue. The famous “Duel in the Sun” between Nicklaus and Tom Watson at the 1977 British Open was so epic, for instance, that the system above awards 2.1 total “generic majors” to the field.
Then there is Tiger Woods, who somehow remains at 25-1.
“But to be able to get through that week… and do what I did at the Canadian Open, winning that with three birdies on the final three holes…it gave me a lot of confidence”. It doesn’t help the media, hearing about it all the time.
Honestly, Day should have won the 2011 Masters – the first time he contended on the back nine of a major championship.
In 2000, Tiger Woods put together a season that is still golf’s gold standard for calendar-year dominance.
“Yeah, I definitely felt like I was an underachiever”, Day said.