Date: June 16, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes @ US Open

Day queries Tiger’s drive

Jason Day unwittingly became involved in yet another Tiger Woods drama today at the US Open.

Day teed up with his good friend and Dustin Johnson for nine practice holes at Chambers Bay.

But when he addressed his subsequent media conference and was asked the inevitable questions about the former world No.1’s inglorious form slide, the Aussie’s candid, talkative manner edged him into what will almost certainly become a hot talking point at Tiger’s Tuesday presser.

Day clearly meant it as a compliment, but with just a few words he neatly, but potently, summed up why Woods will begin this week's US Open ranked 195th in the world.

“Tell you what, if he could get on the fairway, he'd probably be back to where he was,” Day said.

“It's just ridiculous how good his iron play is right now, it's really special.”

But he didn’t finish there, hinting the 14-time major champion could lack the motivation necessary to “climb Mount Everest again” because of off-course issues and a lack of confidence.

Woods, who has admitted to sleepless nights after splitting from girlfriend Lindsey Vonn last month, comes into the year's second major on the back of the worst score (85) and four-round total (302) of his career in the Memorial Tournament a fortnight ago.

“Who knows what's going on with Tiger right now? We're friends, but I don't get into his personal life and I don't want to. That's his stuff and he deserves his privacy.

“But when it comes to golf, it's very difficult because you could have all the tools in the world, but if you really don't want to be there or if there's something that's off course that's playing on your mind … the game of golf is so mental and if you don't have everything in the right order, it's very difficult to win golf tournaments. I've learned that very early.

“It really is amazing that some days you'll come out and you'll feel like you can beat anyone, and then some days you come out and you've got no confidence in the world and you can't break an egg with a hammer.

“Unfortunately, with Tiger, it's so hard because he's done what he's done in the past and everyone is expecting him to do that still.

“And we put him on such a pedestal that (we say), `Where is the old Tiger? What's he going to do?’ When's he going to come back?’.

“We're just waiting for him to come back and win those tournaments like it was nothing, hunt down people like he was playing a Wednesday tournament at the country club. But will we see it? I'm not sure.

“It just totally depends on the person, how hard he's working, because the top guys in the world, they're working their tails off. It just depends on how much you want it. It's tough.

“He dominated the game for so long, and that's what I admire about him the most. He was No.1 for a very, very long time and it's hard to do that.

“You're climbing Mt Everest and he's fallen off it a couple of times and climbed back up there again.

“Once people understand how hard it is to climb Mt Everest, it's hard to do it again. I think if he could straighten out that driver, he'd play phenomenal golf, because his iron play and putting is on point.”