Red-hot Day cruises to six stroke Barclays win
Five days after undergoing an MRI on his troublesome back, Jason Day stood tall moving to the top of the FedExCup standings after a stunning six-shot triumph in Edison, New Jersey.
Day also created PGA Tour history by becoming the first Australian-born player to win four times on the Tour in a single season since Jim Ferrier in 1951, with Greg Norman winning three times in 1986 and 1995 though Norman did win the 1986 European Open on the European Tour.
The 27-year old Queenslander was in a class of his own claiming back-to-back PGA Tour triumphs after capturing the PGA Championship in his prior start.
In the process Day unseated Star Spangled local hero Jordan Spieth atop of the money list with the Texan paying a heavy price in missing the cut by not only seeing Day go past him but losing his World No. 1 ranking to Rory McIlroy after just a fortnight.
Day now heads to Boston to the Deutsche Bank Championship with the mathematical chance of going past both McIlroy and Spieth to World No. 1.
However there had been an injury cloud hanging over Day since he withdrew from Wednesday’s Pro-Am after revealing he had tweaked his back late on Tuesday in removing a box from under this motorhome while it didn’t help his cause earlier that day when he helped push a broken-down motorised golf cart.
The injury proved timely for Day to undergo an MRI on his back, however, doctors at nearby St. Peter’s Hospital in New Brunswick reported everything to be ‘structurally sound’.
The very hot conditions over the championship were clearly to Day’s liking after posting a pair of 68s and then a sizzling third day 63 that saw him head to the final round of the US$8.25m event sharing the lead with Korean Sangmoon Bae.
Jason Day (Credit: www.golffile.ie)
But it was the closest anyone got to Day as he birdied two of his opening four holes and then the seventh ahead of completing his inward half in five under par including snatching birdie at the 18th for a second day running.
And after breaking down in tears over his tap-in victory putt at Whistling Straits it was a clearly more composed Day who looked very much in control, and also very much at ease when his final putt dropped ahead of him taking a short step back and then spreading out both arms in triumph.
“It’s just great to get my first FedExCup win and I’m really going to try and make this push for the FedExCup,” he said.
“It’s been a good summer for me and I never expected to come out and play the way I did today.”
“So it’s been an amazing year and just the work and the dedication I’ve put in over the years, it feels like it’s finally paying off. It’s just been a whirlwind kind of summer.”
“But then I have to say it’s a lot easier than coming down the stretch in a major championship, I can tell you that. I don’t know what to say, as this week has been just fantastic.”
Day is the second Australian after Adam Scott in 2013 to be handed the gleaming Waterford Crystal Barclays Championship trophy while he earns a prize cheque for US$1.485m that takes his PGA Tour career earning through the US$25 million barrier.
Steven Bowditch closed out the weekend with a 6-under 64 to move up twenty places in to equal 13th. Bowditch is the only Aussie outside of Day that is currently inside the all-important Top-30 who will qualify to play the Tour Championship.
John Senden and Matt Jones were the only other Australians to make the cut and finished T45 and T53 respectively.
Adam Scott missed the weekend and will sit out the rest of the season after failing to gain enough FedExCup points to move on to this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship.
Marc Leishman’s missed cut saw him fall eleven places to 61st on the FedExCup standings but is still safely inside the Top 100 for this week’s event.