After a year highlighted by high finishes in big events and marred by personal tragedy, Jason Day has set himself the task of winning a major in 2014 – and is confident he can.
With a clutch of top-10 results in the tournaments that matter, the 26-year-old proved his resilience by battling personal loss to finish the season with victory alongside Adam Scott at the World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne last month.
He had just learned that he had lost eight relatives who were killed in the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan.
"That was obviously a very emotional week and to win the World Cup the way we did and then win the individual (title) on top of that, plus to have my family in town, was pretty special," Day told Reuters.
He said he had played solid golf in a roller-coaster lead-up to the event …"But I am very happy with how I have handled myself, through the good and the bad.
"It would have been the easiest thing for me to just go ahead and pull out of the tournament with what had been going on … but I really wanted to play with Adam and try to win the World Cup, and we achieved that which was great.
"To bring it back to Australia, playing in front of the home crowd, and then winning it on one of the most well-known Australian golf courses was very special.
"To be able to win it with Scotty, who has been a really good friend of mine for a long, long time now, to play as well as we did and to win it pretty convincingly in the end (by 10 shots), was a complete honour."
The win has the Queenslander geared up for next year.
"I had a really solid win at the World Cup against the best players in the world and that’s very encouraging for next year. I am very motivated," Day said.
"Now I’ve got about five or six weeks off, get some good rest and then get into the gym and try to really get fit for next year. I am looking forward to starting next season."
And that’s when he plans to target the majors.
"I would love to win a major," said Day, who finished third at this year’s Masters before tying for second at the US Open two months later. "That’s a big goal of mine.
"I have to improve mentally a little more but I feel like my game is in a good spot. It’s getting tougher to win tournaments and you’ve just got to work harder than the next guy to have that extra edge over him."
Scott’s win in this year’s Masters has inspired Day who said he planned to emulate his compatriot’s determined approach.
"His game has always been there, I just think he’s working a little bit harder and he wants it a little bit more," Day said.
"It’s amazing the results you can get when you actually want it so bad that you will actually do it.
"Some years are up and down but when you really, really want it, it’s difficult not to get what you want because it’s just that law of attraction, I guess."
By: Robert Grant