Jason Day trying to find comfort level with 3-wood
ABS-CBN Sports on May 11, 2016 01:52 PM
DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Jason Day, the PGA champion and No. 1 player in the world, revealed one weak area of his game.
His 3-wood can make him nervous.
"Everyone has an uncomfortable club in their bag. We just don't talk about it," Day said Tuesday. "I'm OK with talking about it."
The subject arose when Day spoke about his struggles at The Players Championship, where he has missed the cut three times in five starts and has only one top 10. He followed an opening 69 last year with an 81 to miss the cut.
The Stadium Course at the TPC Sawgrass historically does not favor any particular game. Day is a power player, and the driver is not an issue.
"But there's a few 3-woods out there for me that I have to hit, and if there's one club in the bag that's uncomfortable for me at times, it's the 3-woods," he said. "That's why I might be hitting a few more 2-irons off the tee this week, just to try and get it in play."
The problem is that Day says he tends to overdo it when trying to hit a draw, and it's been that way since he was a kid.
"Driver has always been fine, and the rest of the clubs have been fine," Day said. "It's just for some reason, the 3-wood ... that's just one of those clubs."
Don't get the idea that the Australian is incapable with a 3-wood. When it's on, it goes a long way, and he has used it effectively at times in winning five tournaments last year and back-to-back tournaments in March that put him back to No. 1 in the world.
He feels more prepared for The Players than he has in previous years. And even if he has to go with the 2-iron, it's not like Day is giving up much distance to the field. Even so, he says it's a 30-yard difference in clubs.
"I usually carry my 2-iron about 250 yards off the tee and then it runs another ... whatever it does on the fairway, how firm it is," he said. "The 3-wood goes about 285 yards off the tee. So there's a big difference in gap."
Day said he has hit his 3-wood well the last few weeks.
"I've just got to get up there and try not to think about it too much and hit the shot," he said.
OLYMPIC MEDALS: Players who want to see what they've been missing for the last century can swing by the USGA Museum for the next month. On display will be the medals won by H. Chandler Egan at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis.
That was the last time golf was in the Olympics. It's returning this summer in Rio.
Egan won the silver medal at Glen Echo Country Club, finishing behind George Lyon of Canada. Along with Egan's silver medal, he also won a gold medal in the team competition. Egan was captain of the U.S. team that represented the Western Golf Association. U.S. teams also won the silver and the bronze.
The medals are on loan from Egan's grandson, Morris Everett Jr.
"These medals are an incredibly important piece of golf history," said Michael Trostel, director of the USGA Museum. "To have them on display is a real treat for fans of the game, the Olympics and sports in general. This exhibit is a great opportunity to connect golf's Olympic past to its future and celebrate its return to the Games this summer in Rio."
The medals will be on display at the museum in Far Hills, New Jersey, starting Wednesday until June 8. Then, they will go to Oakmont for a display at the U.S. Open. They will be at the World Golf Hall of Fame after that as part of a special Olympic exhibit.
MONTY'S LAST STAND: Colin Montgomerie would like nothing more to return to the British Open this year at Royal Troon, where his father was the longtime club secretary. His only chance is through Local Final Qualifying, and that's where he will be.
"I'm going to play in one more Open Championship, I would love it to be this year," Montgomerie told the PGA Tour's website.
The 52-year-old Scot said he will try to qualify at Hillsdale Golf Club in Southport, which is adjacent to Royal Birkdale.
"There are 60 players for five spots," Montgomerie said. "It will be hard against the young players. At the same time, I can qualify if I play my best."
The last time the Open was at Troon, he was three shots out of the lead going into the weekend and closed with 72-76 to finish 12 shots behind.
POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING: James Hahn doesn't mind talking about his blunders, though caddie Mark Urbanek gave him a different attitude last week.
Hahn made a 10 on the par-4 16th hole at Quail Hollow last year, calling it the "best 10 I have ever made." Going into the Wells Fargo Championship this year, he had no trouble sharing his tale with whoever was in his group.
"I said ... 'You got to listen to this story.' And my caddie was like: 'Why are you telling this story? Why would you want to relive that?' He's like: 'Let's think about the week. We're going to beat this hole.' And I thought about it for a second and I was like: 'You're right. We're going to play this hole 1-under par for the tournament.' And lo and behold, I played it 1-under par for the tournament."
It was enough for Hahn to get into a playoff and beat Roberto Castro for his second PGA Tour victory.
"It's crazy how thought can become a reality," he said.
DIVOTS: Former British Open champion Mark Calcavecchia is the latest to have a monthly show on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio. His show, "Golf According to Calc," debuts on Wednesday. .... Keegan Bradley has parted with caddie Steve "Pepsi" Hale, who had been on his bag since Bradley's rookie season in 2011 that included his victory in the PGA Championship. Bradley is using Chad Reynolds, who had been with Nick Watney until Watney decided to take the rest of the year off so his back could heal. ... The Pacific Links International on the PGA Tour Champions, originally schedule for China on Sept. 23-25, instead will be held in British Columbia. The field will be increased from 60 to 81 players. .... The USGA accepted 1,855 entries for the U.S. Women's Open at CordeValle in Northern California. ... Timuquana Country Club, the Donald Ross design on the west side of Jacksonville, will host the U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball in 2019.
STAT OF THE WEEK: The winner of The Players Championship earns $1.89 million. Arnold Palmer earned $1.86 million in 734 career starts on the PGA Tour.
FINAL WORD: "If it was an easy game, there would be a lot more people competing at a high level." — Rickie Fowler.