The word slump gets thrown around rather liberally when it comes to describing particularly poor stretches from some of golf’s world-class players.
Take, for example, Jordan Spieth, who ended his slump with a victory last April in Texas and has suddenly found himself mired in another mini-slump over the last six months. In case you haven’t noticed, golf fans and media can be fickle.
Another former World No.1, Jason Day, knows this too. Despite posting a two-win season in 2018, the three winless seasons to follow have prompted countless “what’s wrong with Jason Day?” questions. It didn’t help that two weeks ago at The American Express, Day’s T-49 finish dropped him to 129th in the Official World Golf Ranking, his lowest mark in over a decade.
Obviously, persistent back issues have been the No.1 culprit in Day’s OWGR freefall. Despite those issues, the Queenslander has still managed to sprinkle in the occasional top-5 finish, last week’s T-3 at Torrey Pines serving as the prime example.
Through two rounds at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, though, Day is proving last week’s performance was hardly just a flash. After shooting a four-under 68 at Pebble Beach Thursday, he followed with a five-under 66 at Monterey Peninsula on Friday. At nine-under, he’s tied for seventh, seven back of solo leader Seamus Power.
Day credits this potentially quick turnaround to something that should scare his fellow competitors – for once, he’s at full health.
“The last couple years have been a bit of a struggle,” said Day. “But I think more so it’s a real positive, not only personally with my back and then when I get on the golf course I feel good.”
Day, once a violent swinger of the golf club, has dialled it back considerably in an effort to elongate his career. It’s become his new obsession.
“I’m not looking at it as like a comeback season, I’m just looking at it like every day what can I do to try to get better,” Day said. “And I’m super, super obsessed with the golf swing right now, which is either a good thing or a bad thing. I don’t know how to take that. But I’m always talking to my coach every day and I’m always constantly working on it.
“The good thing is I need to work on my swing because if I don’t then certain things can creep in and I can hurt my back again. So I’ve got to always be cautious of that.”
Hopefully, those things don’t creep up on Day any time in the near future. The sport will be that much better if Day becomes a factor again. Specifically, this weekend at Pebble Beach, where the leaderboard is seriously lacking in star power. Another weekend charge from Day could change that.