Then, he went to the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits with a chance to join Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods as the only players to win three majors in 1 year. More than a caddie, Swatton helped Day, a troubled youth, turn his life around and eventually grab one of golf’s major championships. “I remember watching (his mother) cut the lawn with a knife because we couldn’t afford to fix the lawn mower”. Sure, souped-up golf balls and great clubs have something to do with that, but so do the players themselves.
“Just to be able to sit in front of you guys today and think about those stories, it gets me emotional knowing that I’m the PGA Champion now and it feels good“. It’s just wonderful. His win moves him to number 3 in the world but Day said he was not done just yet: “I still want to accomplish that No. 1 goal of mine, which is to be the best player in the world“.
Former world number one Tiger Woods sent his praise to Day and Spieth, taking to social media to say: “Game over, very happy for Jason”. “I could have done a little bit more but it would have been hard to shoot 8-under and to go 15-under on the weekend”.
To Spieth’s credit, the 22-year-old showed his support for Day throughout Sunday’s round, even giving him a thumbs up on the 17th green when Day lagged a crucial long putt right next to the hole.
While Day is enjoying becoming golf’s newest Major Champion, Woods will tee-up for a first time in this week’s Wyndham Championship.
“(But) I’d be in the dog house if I left my wife with two young children by herself”.
“I need to really understand what I need to improve on and really knuckle down so that I can come back and improve in that area and pick up one shot or maybe two a round, whereas before I was losing shots”.
“Something happened to me at the Open Championship”, he said. “Here we did what we could and it wasn’t enough because Jason just played that good“. All three together, have combined to win five of the last six majors. In the case of golf, The Big Three of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player certainly defined the first half of the 1960s for golf fans (even if Billy Casper could easily have made it the Big Four).
Still, it was cool to see that, as competitive as Spieth is, he gave Day all the credit he deserved with a thumbs up on the 18th hole.
All week, Day’s driving and putting display was one for the record books and he shot a remarkable 5 under par 67 in the final round to achieve his historic winning score.
If there was one thing this PGA Championship accentuated, it was that golf is more a young man’s game than it ever has been.
But after sharing the lead going into the final round, he was unable to overcome the vertigo that nearly forced him to withdraw during the event, eventually slipping down into a tie for ninth, again behind Spieth. He can no longer be labeled the best golfer without a major.
“He’s probably the most immensely talented guy who hasn’t won a major but I don’t think he has any real “choke” in him”, said Azinger.