SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — Jason Day’s had an eventful PGA Championship week, and almost all of that drama has happened away from host Baltusrol Golf Club.
“(His children) Dash and Lucy are sick right now, and kind of Dash passed that on to me a little bit. Like, I’m okay. I’m fine. I’m just a little bit under the weather,” Day started Wednesday.
Then, on Tuesday, he was the honoree at the PGA Championship champions dinner. Unfortunately, that night didn’t go smoothly either.
“(His wife) Ellie had an allergic reaction last night and had to go to the hospital. We were there until 2 o’clock (in the morning) or something like that,” he continued.
Naturally, Day concluded, “So I’m kind of running on E (empty) right now.”
He should be quoting Springsteen in Jersey, not Jackson Browne. Fortunately, Ellie is OK, Dash and Lucy will be fine.
So, the world No. 1 got to practice at Baltusrol for the first and only time on Wednesday after taking Monday off as planned following the RBC Canadian Open. In this compressed Olympic summer, players have to find days off when they can. The mission in his limited practice will be to figure out how to play his most comfortable golf around this nearly 7,500-yard course.
“I just want to be able to feel comfortable on the golf course,” he said. “The biggest thing is to really manage my ego in that way in a sense to sometimes pull back, or when I do feel comfortable be able to attack it, but know that there’s consequence and know exactly where I need to miss it, and obviously from there, try to get it up around the green and get it in the hole with the least amount of strokes.”
The lack of preparation and other off-course things he and his family have faced may have forced Day to confront reality: This may not be his week. In a candid moment, he let down his guard and shared what’s been going through his mind.
“With the limited practice and limited prep that I’ve had this week, I’m not coming into this week expecting a lot,” he said.
He then quickly snapped back into Jason Day World No. 1 Golfer.
“I mean, obviously I’m expecting to win,” he said, “but like I’m not really going, all right, you need to go out and force things straightaway.”