Johnson extends Jason Day the ultimate compliment
Double Major winning Zach Johnson has paid FedEx Cup leader and world number three, Jason Day, the ultimate compliment.
Johnson and Day, who was on his way to an historic round of 59 at the BMW Championship overnight, have become the best of friends and well prior to the pair capturing the closing two Major Championships of the season.
Zach Johnson kisses the Claret Jug at the 2015 Open Championship (Credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Indeed Johnson was one of the first to embrace Day when he returned to competition at last month’s Barclays Championship and ahead of the Columbus-based Australian storming to the top of the Playoff Series with his six-shot success in New Jersey.
The pair were seen warmly hugging each other with Johnson having added an Open Championship victory to his 2007 Masters triumph while Day, after so many close calls, finally breaking through to win a first Major with his success in the PGA Championship.
“I was ecstatic for Jason as he’s a very good friend of mine and the PGA Championship just didn’t fall into his hands as he went out there and won it,” said Johnson.
“We are in the same management company but even before Jason came out on Tour, I had got to know him pretty well and our friendship has only grown stronger.”
The scene at the Barclays was a completely different scenario a month earlier with Day virtually in tears after missing the Open Championship play-off by a shot.
But while it was Johnson who was eventually handed the Claret Jug, the 39-year old American could sympathise for his younger opponent.
“I don’t know anything specific about Jason’s emotions that Monday at St. Andrews but I guess he must have been heart-broken like anyone would be in just missing out by a shot on the chance of winning a Major,” said Johnson.
“But then for Jason to rally like he did in the very next Major at Whistling Straits, and after what he went through at the U.S. Open, was very impressive.
“I am not surprised he won at Whistling and I will not be surprised so many more Majors as he’s just a quality and talented player.”
And now that Day has broken through to become a Major Champion Johnson indicated the 27-year is not one in need of advice or guidance.
If fact, Johnson, who is 12 years older than Day, complimented Day suggesting he may now find himself turning to the Australian for direction.
“Jason knows exactly what he’s doing and if anything, I might ask him for advice,” said Johnson.
“And I will go so far to say that if there is an opportunity down the road when I might have grand children that I won two Majors in the Jason Day era.”
“So who knows but then Jason just has the potential to go on and achieve real greatness in this game.”