Nearly eight years on from being lambasted for declaring his desire to be the world’s best, Jason Day finally gets his chance.
As a fresh-faced 20-year-old, Day caused a massive stir when he declared, “I’m sure I can take him down,” when talking about Tiger Woods and his spot at No.1 in the world.
At the time it seemed inconceivable, such was Woods’ dominance, but now, after a longer road than expected, Day is just a win away from being Australia’s third, and youngest ever world No.1.
“No.1 is my number one priority in life. I’ve always wanted to get to No.1 in the world. I’m on the verge of it,” Day said on the eve of the Deutsche Bank Championship where a win, coupled with McIlroy or Spieth not being runner-up, would have sit atop the golfing world.
“Rory and Jordan, are the two I’m shooting for. I think with the way that I’m a little bit behind them makes me more hungry. Makes me hungry to go and try to catch them.”
Day understands the flak he copped for his youthful confidence, but now it just seems a matter of not if, but when he reaches his goal.
“It’s tough, because you’re a kid, and you may be a little more confident than you should be, but, still, when someone tells you you can’t do something, you shouldn’t listen to them, you just keep doing what you need to do,” Day said.
“Because now I have the opportunity of getting to No.1. It’s taken a while, but I have the opportunity now and if I take it, great, but if not, then I’m still going to be shooting for it.”
The key to victory at TPC Boston for Day, where he has three previous top 10s including a second and a third, will be the back nine.
In his seven starts at the venue, the Queenslander is a whopping 50-under-par on the front nine holes but only 17-under on the back nine.
In the last four years, the difference is 32-under on the front and just five-under on the back.
Last year, in his seventh-placed finish, the back nine cost him dearly as he played the holes in four-over compared to the front side in 14-under, letting a Sunday lead slip.
But the 27-year-old is confident he has a handle on it.
“I love coming back up here. The golf course, for some reason fits my eye and I feel a lot more comfortable out here,” Day said.
“I have a good game plan and it is just a good setup for me. I have the most confidence I’ve ever had by far.
“It’s this feeling of I know where the golf ball is going. The synergy between Colin (caddy) and I has been fantastic. The communication has been off the charts.
“The discipline for me to go out there and not hit a shot until I’m ready, has been fantastic, as well. Just everything kind of put together.”