Day matches feat of Norman with Players victory

Jason Day emphatically matched the effort of boyhood idol Greg Norman in capturing the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

The World No. 1 was in a class of his own winning by four shots with a 15-under par tally on the Stadium course at Ponte Vedre in Florida.

Jason Day Jason Day (Credit: Anthony Powter)

After equalling Norman’s course record on day one with a nine under par 63, Day then added his name to the PGA Tour flagship trophy to win his first event as the game’s reigning top-ranked player.

In doing so, Day also joined Norman who was World No. 1 when the ‘Great White Shark’ stormed to a similar four shot victory in capturing the tournament with a record of 24-under par.

One of the very first text messages Day received was from Norman.

The 28-year old fellow Queenslander has now won as Major Championship, a World Golf Championship crown and now the PGA Tour’s top title to join Tiger Woods, Martin Kaymer, Phil Mickelson and fellow Aussie Adam Scott to do so in their careers.

Day not only joins Norman as a winner of the Players Championship but fellow Australians Adam Scott and Steve Elkington.

List Of Australian-Born Players Championship Winners

  • Jason Day (2016)
  • Adam Scott (2004)
  • Greg Norman (1994)
  • Steve Elkington (1991 & 1997)

Day’s victory, in just his 10th event this year, is his third this season after winning the back-to-back at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the following week’s WGC – Dell Match-Play Championship.

He also joins Tiger Woods (2000, 2002), Tom Watson (1980) and Johnny Miller (1974) as the only players to win wire-to-wire twice in the same season dating to 1970.

Day was greeted on the final green moments after his victory by son, Dash along with wife, Ellie and new daughter, Lucy.

“It is such a big accomplishment for me in my career to be able to finally win as World No. 1 and then to go wire-to-wire is very special,” he said.

“But then I am just glad I don’t have to play the course again. (smiling)”

“However it was tough out there and I know it was easy to lose a bit of focus on the front side, especially with a four shot lead, but I just kept on telling myself to keep myself in it and give yourself the opportunity on the backside.”

“So I managed to play real solid golf on the backside and very pleased to walk away with the championship.”

“But then the key now to winning wire-to-win is just keep saying to myself to stick to the process and then working hard and learning from the values you have along the way. You always must learn and I am just glad to convert another one, and I am already looking forward to many more of them.”

“But right now I am just trying to soak-up as much as I can.”

Day collected the biggest single prize cheque of his pro career, a whopping US$1,890,000 compared to the US$450,000 Norman was handed in 1994 while the difference that is US$1,440,000 is what Scott won in 2004.

Day also moves to the top of the FedExCup points table after winning his seventh PGA Tour success in his last 17 starts dating back to the 2015 RBC Canadian Open – an event he won the week following his disappointment at St. Andrews.

The victory is also Day’s 10th on the PGA Tour:-

  • 2010 AT&T Byron Nelson
  • 2014 World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play
  • 2015 Farmers Insurance Open, RBC Canadian Open, PGA Championship, The Barclays, BMW Championship
  • 2016 Arnold Palmer Invitational, World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play, The Players

And the achievements just continue with Day now owning the second-most PGA Tour wins for players under the age of 30:

  • Rory McIlroy (11)
  • Jason Day (10)
  • Jordan Spieth (7)

As well, Day now has eight wins since the start of the 2013-14 season and the most of any player on the PGA Tour in this time frame.

Adam Scott’s rollercoaster week continued on Sunday with a final round 4-under 68 repairing some of the damage from his third round 75. Scott finished in equal 12th.

Marc Leishman was the only other Australian to make the cut however weekend rounds of 75 left him in 64th place.

The PGA Tour heads back to Texas this week for the AT&T Byron Nelson, where the out-of-form Steven Bowditch will be looking to defend his title.