Date: August 14, 2019
Author: Martin Blake

Day fights for his season

Jason Day has a new (old) caddie on the bag and a job to do at the BMW Championship at Medinah this week.

Day, who last week parted with Kiwi Steve Williams after a brief stint as a team, has friend and fellow professional David Lutterus on the bag at Medinah, near Chicago. Lutterus has caddied for the Aussie before, since Day stopped having his coach and mentor Col Swatton on his bag two years ago.

But Day needs to finish in the top-five at the second of three PGA Tour playoff tournaments to ensure that his season in America can continue.

Only the top 30 on the points list graduate to Atlanta for the Tour Championship next week, and Day enters the BMW ranked 50th.

Adam Scott and Marc Leishman, ranked 14th and 16th respectively, already know that they are heading to Atlanta with some chance of winning the tour’s Fedex Cup bonus, worth $US15 million at the top end.

So Day is the one under pressure. He has six top-10s for the season and was tied-fifth at the Masters at Augusta National, earning a respectable $US2.6 million. But he has not won since the Wells Fargo Championship in May, 2018, which is an eternity for a player like Day, now ranked 22nd in the world.

Scott has a free hit this week, knowing that whatever happens he is fine, having had a great season and a top-five finish last week at the Northern Trust. “It's rare we play with this kind of freedom," Scott told AAP.

"There hasn't really been a tournament where there was no downside to being really aggressive; not that I can remember. It's a completely free week. I can absolutely go for it; just attack and see what happens."

Brooks Koepka is the top-ranked player going into this week, ahead of Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy.

The format for the Tour Championship at East Lakes next week has completely changed, with the players effectively handicapped at the start, based on their Fedex Cup ranking. The No. 1 ranked player will start at 10-under par, for instance, and the winner of the Tour Championship and the winner of the Fedex Cup are guaranteed to be the same person.

No Australian has ever won the Fedex Cup since it began in 2007, although Scott won the Tour Championship in 2006, before it was linked to the wider prize.