By Evin Priest
JASON Day has a simple strategy to try and win his first Masters – obliterate the par 5s.
With his prodigious length and stunning accuracy, last year’s US PGA Champion will try to make more eagles than he has previously on Augusta’s famed par 5s, particularly the back nine’s shorter 13th and 15th.
Although the US PGA Tour stats say he averages 278 metres off the tee, Day is known to regularly crush tee shots 330m in the heat of contention.
“You crush the par fives to do well because that’s where all the scoring is … give yourself opportunities to get to the green or around it and let the short game take over,” Day said.
And the man most qualified to predict Day’s success this week – six-times winner Jack Nicklaus – gave the Queenslander a flattering assessment yesterday.
“Beautiful golf swing, great attitude, great short game and he believes in here what he’s doing,” Nicklaus said tapping his head,” Nicklaus said.
In searching for his second career Major, the world No.1 said he would draw from his Masters debut in 2011. Five years ago, Day was ready to quit golf before the tournament and decided to play Augusta like it was his last Major. The apathy freed Day’s mentality and he finished runner up to Charl Schwartzel.
“I had my agent, my wife (Ellie) and a sports psychologist and we’re just sitting there and I’m like, I’m just having a very hard time picking up the golf club to even enjoy myself out there,” Day recalled.
“We came to the conclusion of just saying this might be the last Masters I ever play so I may as well enjoy it.”