WE HAVE all been questioning Tiger Woods’ next move as he refuses to give a timeline of a return to competitive golf – despite releasing videos of himself hitting a 9-iron.

But is coaching – and specifically mental coaching – the next step in Tiger’s career?

Perhaps, if text messages between traded between this morning’s Arnold Palmer Invitational champion Jason Day and Woods are anything to go by.

It seems almost every time Day is in contention, the 14-time Major winner is able to get the Aussie across the line with supportive dialogue. The pair were in contact right up to Day’s final-round tee time at Bay Hill.

“Traded texts (with Woods) last night and this morning,” Day said. “It’s the same thing … He sends the same stuff to me, ‘Just be yourself and stay in your world,’ and for some reason it just means so much more.

“It gives me so much confidence that a person like that would believe in me. I was idolising him ever since I was a kid and watching him in ’97 win the Masters for the first time and all of a sudden I’m playing the (US PGA) Tour and I’m pretty close with him now.”

Topping the leaderboard after the first three rounds, Day is only the fourth player to win this event wire-to-wire with the outright lead, joining Mike Nicolette (1983), Paul Azinger (1988) and Fred Couples (1992).

Woods was the last player to win the event wire-to-wire (2002) but shared the lead after the first round. He has actually never held the outright lead in all four rounds during any of his eight victories at Bay Hill.

“I never knew that, and I will text him that tonight,” Day joked. “You know, regardless if you win wire to wire or you win pretty or you win ugly, a win is a win. It’s a great feeling and nothing beats winning.

“Like I said, he’s been a big influence in my life ever since I was a kid,” he said. “And to have his advice, to be able to go see him and practice with him and pick his brain about numerous things that I want to try and improve my game … it’s been a big credit to him.”