Els wants to give Day time to prove himself
Time may be running out but Ernie Els is certainly not writing him off.
The South African Presidents Cup captain is keen to have Aussie Jason Day on his team when the Cup is playing at Royal Melbourne on December.
There are three Australian already on the team and with his captain’s picks still to come, you can be certain Els will be watching Day closely – and perhaps giving him some advice, if it’s required.
Els explained that Day’s status within the game would be enough to ensure he was among the leading contenders when his four selections are announced on November 4.
“Obviously we’d have loved to have seen him qualify in the top eight,” Els said.
“I don’t want to give away all my cards here, but Jason is always going to be on the list of guys we’re going to absolutely look at for the top 12.”
“Jason tried a couple things in his game this year. He tried a different caddie scenario and so forth.”
“You know, he didn’t have a terrible year, he just didn’t have a year like we’re used to from Jason. We’ve got a long time to go.”
“Before December comes I’ll have a chat with Jason personally and see where we are, and we’ll make that decision when it comes.”
“There’s a bit of time to go, but Jason is obviously one of my favourite guys.”
Adam Scott, Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman will be there – and most golf fans in this country want Day to be there too.
Committed to play the ZOZO Championship in Japan in October and the Australian Open the week before the Presidents Cup, Day probably needs to show just glimpses of his best golf to earn one of Els’ four captain’s picks.
Immediately following Day in the standings following the BMW Championship were Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, Korean Sungjae Im and South African Justin Harding.
Yet Els hinted that form over the next two months would be crucial.
South African Erik Van Rooyen continued his excellent European Tour season with a win at the recent Scandinavian Invitation, Branden Grace and Adam Hadwin are both past Presidents Cup players while a fifth Australian, Brendan Jones, is also in calculations.
“I’ve said to the guys in the meetings that I’m not scared to choose rookies,” said Els.
“If I see a rookie playing really good golf and he’s up for it, then I’ll go for him.”