Struggling Day seeks out Tiger as new swing coach
In years gone by Jason Day and Tiger Woods have traded texts and Day has always credited Woods with helping him to reach the pinnacle of his game in 2015 when he won five times on the PGA Tour including the PGA Championship that took him to World No.1.
But now five years later, both players are battling debilitating back injuries and the conversation has turned from how to win tournaments to just managing a bad back.
Jason Day (Credit: USGA)
“I know that his back is far worse off than what mine is. I’ve never had major procedures on my back like he has, so I’m in a better situation there,” said Day ahead of last week’s BMW Championship where he finished in 64th place to miss the Tour Championship. Day had previously won the tournament by six strokes five years ago at the height of his prowess.
“I talk to him [Woods] about certain positions in the golf swing to kind of help me in regards to making sure that my swing doesn’t hurt it along even further than what it is right now.”
“I’ve been trying to work on some of the things that myself and Tiger have talked about, things like getting deeper in the right hip, being able to feel that the right hip…so that I can actually turn easier on my left side because currently what’s really kind of hurting me is I early extend in the golf swing down through impact. That’s putting a lot of pressure on my back.”
Day, who only recently ended his long-time relationship with father-figure, swing coach and caddie, Col Swatton, said he turned to Woods because he understands what Day is going through.
“It’s been on and off probably over the last month. Ever since me and Col kind of split up, I kind of reached out to him and started chatting to him about the swing. Obviously someone that’s won 82 times, you kind of have to listen. Every swing I have on my phone is either myself or Tiger’s swing, so any time I get a Tiger swing from my buddies, I send it straight to him and then we chat about the swing.”
Day was asked how his injuries have affected his ability to practice the type of hours it takes to keep your game in shape for the PGA Tour.
“There would be times where I’d spend 10 hours a day practicing, and I would do that three, four days a week, and now it’s a grind if I can get to five. Let me put it this way: At the start of the year I was practicing 30 minutes on my putting, and in my heyday I was practicing two and a half to three hours of putting just alone every day, said Day.
The 32-year-old Queenslander has not won on the PGA Tour since the Wells Fargo Championship in May 2018 and is now sitting 37th place in the world rankings having slumped as low as 63rd before a string of top-10’s saw him turning his year around in the past couple of months.
“The last two seasons have been a little bit disappointing but the good thing is that I’m playing a lot better now…I feel like my game is in a good spot. The great thing about this week is there’s no cut so you don’t have to worry about that.”