Newly crowned US PGA champion Jason Day has asked Aussie fans to understand why he’s not returning home to contest the Emirates Australian Open.
Day became just the 11th Australian male to win a major with his two-shot victory last month at Whistling Straits.
And with interest in the 27-year-old Queenslander at an all-time high, he hopes Aussie golf fans will accept his decision to remain in the United States as he and wife Ellie prepare for their second child due in November.
“I don’t feel as though I am under any pressure to return to Australia given I won the PGA Championship and really I am just hoping everyone back home will understand my situation,” Day said.
“I just want to make sure I am there for Ellie and that she has my support when she has our second child (a brother or sister to three-year-old Dash).
“Australia is a great sporting nation and I know only too well how much they love their champions and while I may not be back home competing this year, I am far from done in terms of seeking to win the Australian Open, the Australian PGA or the Australian Masters.
“They’re the events every Australian-born golfer would love to win in their career and I’m no different.
“So while I won’t be competing in the Australian Open later this year, I am hoping that I will have many more Australian Opens ahead of me in my career.”
Day last competed in Australia when he shared sixth place behind Rory McIlroy in the 2013 Australian Open at Royal Sydney Golf Club.
A week earlier he had teamed with Adam Scott as Australia won the World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne where Day won the individual title.
He had been scheduled to join Scott, McIlroy and eventual champion Jordan Spieth in last year’s Australian Open but withdrew with a back injury.
Day has since charged up the world rankings to a career-high No.3 and is within range of No.1 should he have a victory in the coming weeks.
Day already tops the US PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings with victory, his fourth of the year, in the Barclays Championship in New Jersey last month.
Day maintained his lead in the playoffs despite finishing 12th last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship near Boston.
If Day maintains his top position over the remaining two events, he will become the first Australian winner in the nine-year history of the FedEx Cup.
And while he recently revealed he has been receiving regular text messages from long-time world No. 1 Tiger Woods, he’s also disclosed he’s been discussing their respective back complaints.
“I’ve found myself grouped a few times of late with Tiger, including the first two rounds in The Open at St Andrews, and it's something we have discussed with him while we’ve walked the course,” Day said.
“Tiger and I have talked about our back problems and it’s all part of the modern game we play.
“Everyone nowadays seems to go at the golf ball so hard and (it) seems you are going to pick up niggling little injuries.
“We’ve seen Tiger struggle a lot with a back injury, but like I said it all seems part of the modern game and modern swings everyone is adopting.”