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Day+#039;s Day Day's Day

- (Weekly Standard) - 2 years, 2 months ago...

If he were a race horse, then up-to-now the smart play would have been to bet him to show. On six occasions, Jason Day had finished among the top five in the big golf tournaments known as the "majors." But never first. He seemed to lack that urge to run out ahead of the pack, where the view is clear and the going is good. Unfortunate things just seemed to happen to Day in those big golf tournaments that you need to win for membership in the elite. Most of these things were, of course, self-inflicted. Long drives in to deep rough. Missed putts. The usual woes. And in one case, he was even finished by a bout of vertigo. Yesterday, though, at a peculiar golf course called “Whistling Straights,” Day went out ahead and stayed there. He finished with the lowest 72-hole score in the history of the majors. The record he broke belonged to the Secretariat of golf, Tiger Woods. Okay, enough with the horse racing stuff. Simply said, Jason Day arrived, yesterday, where people who follow golf had been expecting him. At the top of the game. It was great fun to watch, especially since he is such an appealing figure. A poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks in Queensland, Australia, with a big game and a big smile and a three-year-old son who has taken over first in the cute kid competition among PGA golfers. The kid’s name is Dash. As in Dash Day and have you ever. “Adorable” doesn’t really do him justice. As for Dad … well, yesterday, he was a killer. He was plainly concentrating hard to shut out the demons that had distracted him in previous efforts and caused him to come up agonizingly short. His moment may have come on the 9th hole where he launched one of his signature earth-orbit drives. Three eighty, or something, and landing in perfect shape. Easy lob wedge to the hole. Birdie puts him another stroke up on the field, including Jordan Spieth, his playing partner, the phenom and favorite who had won two of three majors this year and barely missed making it three.   Day chunked the shot like some ten-handicapper or worse and left the ball short of the green. Everyone watching no doubt wondered if this was the beginning of the fold. Another bad shot, forcing a two-putt or worse, would open the door for Spieth. After studying for what seemed like a very long time, Day dropped it on the green just soft enough and in just the right place leaving himself 6 feet for the par save and Spieth still looking at his back. He never faltered again and brought it on home with a strong, unfailing stretch run (okay, one more of those horse racing metaphors).   Then, he broke down and cried....

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