Day unconcerned about new McIlroy rivalry

Australia’s Jason Day is not overly concerned with starting a new world golfing rivalry with Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy had suggested at last week’s Shell Houston Open that with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els getting that much older it was time for a new generation of players to emerge and stamp their dominance.

Jason Day Jason Day (Credit: Anthony Powter)

However Day, who is returning to competition at this week’s Masters for a first time in since weeks since injuring his left thumb, is not as excited as the 24-year old McIlroy will a new world order on golf.

“Rivalries start in the media with you guys trying to paint that picture but I am just out there trying to do one job and that is trying to win and whether that starts a new rivalry with guys like Rory to replace guys like Tiger and Phil then we’ll see,” said Day.

“I know that Rory is playing some good golf and that final round 65 in Houston shows that he has some good form coming into this week.

“But then it does seem like a new generation in trying hard to take that bigger step forward as a lot of the young guys are starting to play well now, and not that the older guys are fading out as they are still there, but there seems more younger guys popping their heads up.

“So in saying that, golf is in a great spot with a new generation of players coming up through the ranks as there is a lot of young professionals from all over the world, and places like Japan, Europe, South Africa and so on so the game could not be healthier.

And with multiple Major winner’s Padraig Harrington, Tiger Woods and Retief Goosen not competing this week, Day was asked if he thought this was the biggest change in the Augusta’s goal posts for many a year.

“For starters you have to earn your way into the Masters and it can be difficult some times because there are guys who see playing here all the time that have competed and played well, and won Major Championships like Padraig and ‘Goose’, and you would expect to see them here,” said Day.

“Unfortunately it’s a bummer for those guys but there is a newer generation coming up through the ranks and what, there is 24 players here this week who have never played here before and that’s near on a quarter of the field.

“It’s just this process of the new now beginning to replace the old and it happens in most sports.

“We were talking about this very subject but in 2011 the fact there was so many younger guys coming up but now there is a ton of them out there competing and stepping up and playing great golf.”