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Jason Day

Why Day continues to be one of golf’s most divisive figures

Jason Day seems to irritate all and sundry with his actions so where do we stand on his latest injury setback ahead of the Presidents Cup?

 

“It’s hard to think of another current player who sets off the BS Filter Alarm as much as him” – and there, in a nutshell, you have the wonderful of Twitter. When Jason Day withdrew from the Aussie Open and Presidents Cup team last week – “I’ve been through back problems before and my medical team decided it best to shut down all practice and play” – it wasn’t long before the social media juggernaut rolled into action.

In the blue corner there are the naysayers who say this was always going to happen. That he’s basically now American and that the prospect of coming back to play in Australia, something he rarely does, was always unlikely.

In the red corner there are the swing gurus who, despite many never playing the game professionally or breaking into single figures, like to comment on Day’s torque and hips and all the other problems with the Aussie’s swing. Also over here are some incredible analysers of the game – take a bow Shauheen Nakhjavani – where, while we might not truly understand all the words, we get some incredible insight into how his swing works.

In another corner, and without a colour, are the Day fans who correctly point out that he could easily have signed up to play in the Hero World Challenge, a tournament that he’s played in three of the past five years, but instead signed up for the Australian Open like the rest of the International team, all of which shows a genuine willingness from Day. He’ll have spoken to captain Ernie Els when discussing the picks and, had the body and mind not been willing, it would have been so easy to have a quiet word and get Els to overlook him.

Somewhere else are the rest of us who lurch from one opinion to another, depending on who is telling us to think what, and can never quite settle on where we stand. When I had labyrinthitis – chronic vertigo to you and me – I was floored for at least three months. Day very nearly won the 2015 US Open having hit the deck at the end of his second round.

At this year’s Masters he was again on his back by the 2nd tee and looking like withdrawing after aggravating his back picking up his daughter, by Friday night he was leading the tournament. The previous month he pulled out of Bay Hill with more back problems, his ninth career WD, the following day he was at Disney World with his family.

Cue howls of outrage, cue, pardon the pun, cries of where’s his backbone? It’s time to man up J-Day blah blah blah.

Day could have helped himself a bit more with the specifics of his injury or gushed a bit more about missing the Presidents Cup in his home country – “I’m quite disappointed I won’t be coming home to play in either the Australian Open or the Presidents Cup. I was quite looking forward to both events” – but, for this one, I’m happy to put it down to a bit of bad luck.

Until the next person on Twitter tells me to think otherwise.

Mark Townsend

Been watching and playing golf since the early 80s and generally still stuck in this period. Huge fan of all things Robert Rock, less so white belts. Handicap of 8, fragile mind and short game

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