Sport Golf Jason Day named the world’s best golfer
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Jason Day named the world’s best golfer

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Jason Day has continued his formidable late-season form, taking out the third PGA Tour play-off event by six strokes in Illinois, and in the process capturing golf’s world number one ranking.

Day could not match the heady heights of his first two rounds of 61 and 63, but kept his composure to card a fourth round 69 to finish at 22-under par overall, six clear of nearest challenger, United States’ Daniel Berger (16-under) in the USPGA Tour’s third of four FedEx Cup play-off events.

The victory meant Day moved ahead of Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and American Jordan Spieth to the top of the world rankings, becoming the third Australian to reach top spot after Greg Norman and Adam Scott.

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“I’ve just had to work so hard,” Day said after putting for birdie on the 18th.

“The mentality swung at The Open Championship. Something changed in my head, and I thought it’s my time to start winning tournaments.

“For our whole team lately its all been about reaching number one. 

“The mentality swung at The Open Championship. Something changed in my head, and I thought it’s my time to start winning tournaments.

“For our whole team lately its all been about reaching number one.

Day is one of three players in the last 20 years to win at least five titles in a season.
Day is one of three players in the last 20 years to win at least five titles in a season. Photo: Getty

“I felt a lot of pressure over the last few days. Yesterday and today had to be the toughest rounds of golf I had to play in my entire life.”

It is Day’s fifth title of the season, and continues his extraordinary run of results which have included his maiden major trophy, the PGA Championship in August.

He joins Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh as the only players in the last 20 years to win at least that many in a season. Day has won four of his last six events, including the PGA Championship.

Several players tried to make a charge at Day but the Queensland native was not going to wilt. He held them off by staying out of trouble and making sure he maintained his aggressive approach around the greens.

He added a few birdies for good measure, like the one on the par-four 16th when he drained a 15-foot putt, and then on his closing hole to reach 22-under 262.

Berger shot a 69 to finish in sole possession of second on 268 while Scott Piercy (70) finished solo third, seven strokes adrift of Day.

McIlroy (70), JB Holmes (68) and Rickie Fowler (69) tied for third at a 14-under 270.

Spieth shot 1-under 70 to finish tied for 13th.

Day now heads to the 30-man, season-ending Tour Championship in top spot on the FedExCup points list, ensuring a win at East Lake Golf Club would see him claim a $US10 million bonus.

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