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Jason Day staying true to his goals heading into 2024 Masters: 'Climb back to No 1 in the world'

Jason Day staying true to his goals heading into 2024 Masters: ‘Climb back to No 1 in the world’

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Jason Day waited five long years to capture a win on the PGA Tour following his Wells Fargo Championship victory in 2018. 

It was the AT&T Byron Nelson on May 14, 2023, when everything clicked, including a final round 62 that gave him his 13th career win on Tour. 

Day, in his 17th year on Tour, understands like any of his peers how hard it is to hoist a trophy at the end of a grueling four-day tournament. However, when it comes to majors, like this week’s Masters, the pressure to come out victorious is tenfold. 

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Jason Day swings club

Jason Day of Australia hits a tee shot on the 12th hole during the second round of the Texas Children’s Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course on March 29, 2024 in Houston. (Raj Mehta/Getty Images)

It is a pressure, though, that Day has battled and triumphed through. During his fantastic 2015 season, when he held the world No. 1 golf ranking, Day won the 2015 PGA Championship. It is the only major win he has under his belt, but he came very close in The Open Championship last year, finishing tied-second. 

So, heading into his 13th career Masters tournament this week at Augusta National Golf Club, Day only has one thing on his mind.

“I do want to get back into the winner’s circle,” Day, who will be wearing Malbon Golf attire for the first time at Augusta, told Fox News Digital. “My goal is to climb back to No. 1 in the world – I’ve said that for a while now. The only way to do that is to win tournaments. You can be consistent, but it’s really difficult to be consistent and get to No. 1 in the world without winning.”

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Day’s 2024 season has seen three top 10 finishes, but the best he could do was tied-sixth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. His last three tournaments have not been his best performances either, finishing tied-36th (Arnold Palmer Invitational), tied-35th (The Players), and most recently getting cut at the Texas Children’s Houston Open. This came after a ninth-place finish at The Genesis Invitational. 

So, what is Day working on to get ready for one of golf’s toughest tasks? 

“I think kinda steady the ship a little bit for me personally,” he said. “Just trying to get back to not over-complicating things. I think typically, as professionals, we look to go, ‘OK, how do we improve? How do we get our next win? How do we stay on top?’ And there’s certain guys who make it look very, very simple, like a Scottie Scheffler right now, who makes it look very simple. Same with like a Rory McIlroy, certain guys like that. They tend to make golf look very, very simple. You see it, and it’s like, ‘Ah, I can do that, too,’ but then you get out there, and it’s a lot harder than you’d expect.

“Going into it, just kind of preparing for it the same way. Mentally, kind of just changing a few things to try to not throw the tournament on a massive pedestal, but also just preparing the same way personally.”

Jason Day hits bunker shot

Jason Day hits a bunker shot in Malbon Golf attire. (Malbon Golf)

The first golf major of the year, the Masters is as daunting as it is beautiful. The course is a golfer’s paradise with its iconic azaleas and magnolia trees – until the angulated greens and uneven lies on the fairway make anyone question everything about their game. 

Day admits he has been trying to tweak things with his game in the last few tournaments, and nothing has worked. Of course, that is not what he would want to hear before the Masters, but he is a veteran when it comes to this tournament where he has made nine of 12 cuts, including six top 20 finishes, four of which were top 10. 

“The last few tournaments I tried a few things to try to get my swing to move in a certain direction where I want to go, and it just hasn’t paid off,” Day said. “So, I’m not going to upset it. I’m just going to go back to my old feels. My short game and my putting are really good right now, so that’s obviously crucial. There’s extreme angulation, especially on the green surfaces – around the greens as well. Sometimes, the playing services can, even though it does look green and lush, sometimes the way they mow the grass can be a little hard to chip around and have good touch around the greens.

“Essentially what I’m trying to do is to get back to making things a little more simple and then, through it being more simple and you not over-complicating things, you play stress-free golf. If you play stress-free golf, that typically yields better results. Just building that confidence over time.”

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As Day mentioned, the Masters field will be filled with players like Scheffler, who is red-hot right now after winning back-to-back tournaments with the Arnold Palmer Invitation and The Players before finishing tied-second at the Houston Open. Additionally, LIV Golf stars like Brooks Koepka, and the reigning Masters champion Jon Rahm, are always on the bingo card to compete. 

Again, Day is not new to this. As a former world No. 1, he knows how tough it can be when every golfer is gunning for the title. The only way to stave them off is winning. 

Jason Day reads putt

Jason Day of Australia waits to putt on the fourth green during the second round of The Sentry at Plantation Course at Kapalua Golf Club on Jan. 5, 2024 in Kapalua, Hawaii. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Getting his first career green jacket would certainly vault him up the rankings, where he currently sits No. 22 in the world. The beauty of the Masters is that, for all its bravado and tradition, is just like any other tournament when the first tee shots go off on Thursday.

“Golf is a finnicky game: you can be playing terrible, but then one week it clicks, and then you’re back in the winner’s circle saying, ‘How the hell did I do that?’ Doing the best job I can do right now, and taking it day by day,” Day said. 

It also helps that Day feels like he has his identity back again while wearing Malbon Golf attire this season – a switch he made ahead of the new year after spending the past seven years with Nike. 

Day’s attire has been talked about in the golfing world since he was seen in baggier pants compared to other golfers at The Sentry back in January. He is excited to showcase the styles that Stephen and Erica Malbon, founders of the lifestyle golf brand, chose for him this year. 

Jason Day looks out on golf course

Jason Day of Australia waits on the 10th hole tee during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 8, 2024 in Orlando, Florida. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

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“I think being able to wear the Malbon brand at Augusta, there are a lot of traditions there. They typically say it: we don’t have rules here, we have traditions at Augusta. That is one of the places where you feel it the most, especially being an old-school club. ..I think it’s more about being able to showcase like, ‘Hey, we’re wearing the brand, but it’s golf.’ We’re trying to do it in the most respectful way, but also being able to showcase what is behind Stephen’s ideas of being able to blend the fashion world in regards to the golfing world.”

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