Date: June 02, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Day vows to lose social golf philosophy

It should be every golfer’s dream – a big-money tournament on your home course.

But even for Jason Day, success at the Memorial Tournament has proven elusive.

Since moving to Ohio after his marriage to Ellie in 2009, the Queenslander has battled at a course he plays constantly when not in tournament mode.

In seven previous Memorial trips around Muirfield Village, Day has missed three cuts and finished no higher than T27 in 2009.

Suffice to say, a lot has changed in the past year for the world No.1.

But Day said he would have to make another key change to contend this weekend in his last hit-out before this month’s US Open – especially with his nearest rankings rivals Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy in the field.

And that is, stop attacking so much on a course that rewards patience and shot placement.

“I typically play this course when I'm playing in a social round and I play it very aggressive,” Day said today.

“I'm hitting driver off most tees or taking lines that you wouldn't take (in a PGA Tour event), and then I kind of turned that into the actual tournament and I'm taking similar lines, and you just can't do that.

“You can get away with it playing social rounds because it just doesn't matter, but when you're playing tournament rounds when they're important and they count the most, I'm taking lines and making mistakes … I would in social rounds, but sometimes you get away with it, sometimes you don't.

“I think this year is more about taking more conservative lines off tee or conservative shots, maybe throttling back a little bit here or there."

His conservative approach could include laying back with an iron off the tee and not cutting the corner on the fifth and 11th holes, two par-fives he's typically gone for in the past.

The conservative approach goes against the way Day typically attacks a course — he prefers to overpower it with his length — but after years of missing the cut or finding himself out of contention on Sunday, the Aussie said it was time for a change.

His new mindset, combined with his scintillating form, have him primed for a big week.

“I just feel different this year … and I'm hoping for a better result.”

Day is one of a 11-strong Australian contingent in Ohio this week, including Marc Leishman, Steve Bowditch, Matt Jones, Rod Pampling, Aaron Baddeley, Stuart Appleby, John Senden, Geoff Ogilvy, Nathan Holman and Ryan Ruffels in his final start on sponsor’s exemption.