Date: November 26, 2013
Author: Martin Blake at Royal Sydney

Day has sights on world No. 1

Jason Day&aposs rise back to No. 11 in the world after his win in the World Cup last week is not the end of that particular story. The Australian has had a long-held goal to reach No 1 in the world and that will not change. Day said today his initial plan, hatched with coach and mentor Col Swattan back when they met, was for him to scale to No. 1 in the world by the time he was 22. It was an ambitious plot given that Tiger Woods was in the picture and Day was just 13 years old. Ultimately, he hit his peak of No. 7 in the rankings when he was 23, and then flattened out. But after Royal Melbourne last week, it is not hard to imagine the Queenslander having a big 2014. “We fell short but it&aposs still on my mind to get to that No. 1 spot,&apos&apos he said today on the eve of a tilt at the Emirates Australian Open. “Now there&aposs a lot of tough competitors that I have to get past, but if I keep working hard and putting in the dedication and time into my game, I think the sky&aposs the limit. As long as I stay hungry to want to get to that No. 1 spot. The biggest thing is to actually want it. You can say it as much as you like, but until you actually want to get to that spot, that&aposs it. “It&aposs tough with Tiger being at the top. You&aposve got to be working harder than him, playing well every week. I don&apost know if there&aposs a time limit. I have to improve each and every year, I have to get better than the next person. Whether that&aposs diet, extra hours in the gym, extra hours on the practice range, golfers have to be selfish with their time sometimes. It&aposs a real balancing act when you have family and everything else.&apos&apos Certainly Day has the work ethic. After last Sunday&aposs victory he said that he might have a few drinks to celebrate; in reality he had nothing to drink, a quick meal with his family, and was in bed early. Feeling “physically and emotionally exhausted&apos&apos, he also fielded a flood of messages from admirers, with Greg Norman and Shane Warne among them. “I didn&apost go out and drink, any of that stuff,&apos&apos he said. “I was in bed by 10. I had to get up next morning to go to the gym. I was really trying to focus on preparing for this week. This week&aposs huge for me. I didn&apost want to go out and waste a day on Monday after a big night. When I come down here I want to take everything seriously. I know everyone else is, too, so one day behind in preparation it&aposs only hurting my game.&apos&apos Day&aposs focus quickly turned to Royal Sydney this week, and a course he has never played. Like all Australian golfers he yearns to have his name on the Stonehaven Cup alongside Nicklaus, Player, Palmer, Thomson, Watson, Norman and their like, a feeling he had as a boy, skipping school to watch it on television. One of his fond memories is seeing Aaron Baddeley winning in 1999 and 2000, and he was inspired. “skipping school&apos&apos and watching it on tv. Baddeley winning in 1999-2000. “After I&aposd watch that, I&aposd always want to go out and practice the next day and really just be like everyone else in the Australian Open. To etch my name on that trophy would be a complete honour. Hopefully one day I&aposll be that inspiring person to another kid who wants to get out, practice and play golf as well, 10 (or) 20 years from now that person sitting in my spot.&apos&apos His family are with him in Sydney this week, and he plans on taking his mother Dening back to his American base in Ohio soon for a break, after the devastation of the Philippines typhoon and the loss of her mother and other relatives. &apos&aposI just feel for my mum. It&aposs tough losing your mother. I lost my dad when I was 12, but it&aposs such a long time ago it&aposs kind of hard to remember or think about what the feelings were going through my body when that happened. It&aposs hard for anyone to really sit down and go &aposI can never hold that person again&apos. But this week I&aposm really focussed on what I need to do, give myself the best chance of winning the golf tournament and that&aposs preparing the best I can.&apos&apos