Red-hot Day tops Oosthuizen for Dell Matchplay title

(Austin, TX): Newly-crowned World No. 1 Jason Day will head to the Masters looking to capture a third Tour title in succession after his stunning success in the WGC – Dell Match-Play in Austin, Texas.

Day overcame a first round serious back concern to win a second Match-Play crown in three years with an emphatic Easter Sunday 5&4 victory over South African rival Louis Oosthuizen.

In fact, the 27-year old Queenslander revealed he underwent some 10 hours of medical attention to his back including undergoing an MRI examination and in the process playing 102 holes of the undulating Austin Country Club course to eventually stand the tallest in the Texas capital.

His victory over the 16th seeded Oosthuizen, and former Open Champion, is an incredible 35th triumph around the golfing globe by an Australian professional male golfer since the second Sunday in February last year when Day captured the Farmers Insurance Open on the PGA Tour just hours after Victorian Richard Green won the Oates Vic Open.

And in this amazing run of some 13 months, Day has reigned triumphant in seven of those 35 victories including capturing a first Major in winning the PGA Championship and then last week adding the Arnold Palmer Invitational win to a CV now boasting one Major, two WGC titles, a World Cup ‘Individual’ success and eight other pro career wins.

Jason Day Jason Day (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

Day’s semi-final showdown with Rory McIlroy was a classic match-play confrontation between two of golf’s ‘Big Three’ younger generation.

It was nip and tuck all the way to the final hole where Day broke McIlroy’s heart in holing a 12-foot birdie putt for a 1up win.

And while Day lost the first hole to his Springbok rival, and a hole that he had driven the green in setting an eagle ‘2’ on day two of the event, the father of two was never headed.

Day got back to ‘all square’ when Oosthuizen conceded the third and before Oosthuizen, who had taken his family to a rodeo show in Austin earlier in the week, knew it he had been roped-in to be 3 down to Day after nine holes.

The proud Australian then won the 13th to go 4up and sealed his victory in holing a metre putt for birdie at the 15th and a 5&4 triumph.

Day will take the earlier part of this week off before heading to Augusta National on Thursday, and back to a venue where he finished T2nd on debut in 2011 and third behind fellow Aussie Adam Scott in 2013.

“I am looking forward to it at the Masters is one tournament that I’ve always wanted to win,” he said.

“It’s one tournament that I’ve always wanted to put the jacket on and go back every year. So the motivation and the want there is — there’s no problem. I think the biggest thing to me is to get the rest and recovery coming into this.”

“I am taking the first part of this coming week off, go down Thursday, start prepping Friday and go through that whole stage of getting ready for the tournament.”

“It’s been good momentum for me, confidence-wise, over the last two weeks. I can’t get comfortable with how I’m playing right now, I can’t get lazy, because I’ve got to understand that what I’m doing is working.”

“So I’ve got to keep working on the things that have caused me to win over the last two weeks and keep doing that and then stay focused and hopefully put on the green jacket.

“But it is going to be a tough one. It’s great to hopefully go there as No. 1. And it’s something I’m definitely going to be embracing. It will be fun to walk through the gates as No. 1 in the world.”

Day victory continues a remarkable run since his Farmers Insurance Open as previously highlighted and to put a more finer point on the efforts of Australian golfers here is a few more statistics:-

  • First time there been six different Australians to win on the European Tour ever
  • Day joins Geoff Ogilvy and Adam Scott as multiples WGC winners
  • And in a PGA Tour first Australian’s have won four of the past five events

However while Day says he will take a ‘small piece’ of the credit he singled out Scott for special praise.

“I mean I could take a little bit, right?” he said smiling.

“But watching Scotty play the way he did in 2013, getting to No. 1, was a big inspiration to me.”

“Seeing him — he was one of my favorite golfers growing up, obviously including Tiger Woods. But Adam Scott was up there. And watching him win, got me working harder and being able to do that.”

“Once you see an Aussie do it, then you want to do it and then it’s kind of like a chain reaction. The guys that have won, we all know each other and we all see it each week. We always read about it, who has won the tournament on Sunday, and we want to do that, as well.”

“So that’s kind of where we get the inspiration from.”

Australia had to wait 77 years to for one of our countrymen to be fitted for a Masters green jacket.

With the Masters now just over a week away Jason Day is a red-hot favourite to be the second in four years.