Jason Day's sensational 2015 season, his first Major win and climb to No. 1 in the world have been recognised in Sydney tonight with his victory in the AIS Sport Performance Awards, Male Athlete of the Year.
Day pipped finalists Rohan Dennis, Michael Matthews (both cycling) and Mitch Larkin (swimming) to win the prestigious honour.
In his finest-ever season on the United States PGA Tour, Day won his first major championship, the US PGA, as well as four other tournaments. He reached the world No.1 ranking for the first time and finished the year ranked No.2.
But it was his inspiring journey that captured the hearts of the nation, having returned from heartbreaking near-misses at the US Open and the British Open Championship in the lead-up to his win in the PGA.
At the US Open, he collapsed at one point of the second round because of the debilitating vertigo, forcing him into further tests after the tournament. He has since learned that the ailment is caused by an inner ear problem and he has managed it with medication.
Raised by his Filipino mother in Queensland, Day has spoken recently about his struggles with alcohol as a teen following the premature death of his father when he was 12. It is part of the folklore that his devotion to golf under longtime mentor and coach Col Swatton turned his life around.
Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt accepted the award on Day’s behalf.
"It's a remarkable accomplishment to become the number one golfer in the world, particularly at a time when there is such great depth in world golf. Australian golfers are very proud of Jason and I'm sure they understand the enormous amount of work and sacrifice that has gone into this achievement." Pitt said.