Date: September 16, 2015
Author: Bernie McGuire

Day will win “many more” majors

CRAIL, SCOTLAND: Dual major champion Zach Johnson has paid FedEx Cup leader Jason Day the ultimate compliment before this week’s BMW Championship in Chicago.

Johnson and Day had been great friends even before the pair captured the closing two major championships of the season.

Indeed Johnson was one of the first to embrace Day when he returned to competition at last month’s Barclays Championship before the Ohio-based Australian stormed to the top of the playoff series with his six-shot success in New Jersey.

They were seen warmly hugging each other with Johnson having added an Open Championship victory to his 2007 Masters triumph while Day, after so many close calls, finally breaking through to win a first major with his success in the US PGA Championship.

“I was ecstatic for Jason as he’s a very good friend of mine and the PGA Championship just didn’t fall into his hands as he went out there and won it,” Johnson said.

“We are in the same management company (Wasserman), but even before Jason came out on Tour, I had got to know him pretty well and our friendship has only grown stronger.”

The scene at the Barclays was a completely different scenario to that of a month earlier with Day almost in tears after missing, by just one stroke, the Open Championship playoff won by Johnson at St Andrews.

But while Johnson was eventually handed the Claret Jug, the 39-year-old American could sympathise with his younger opponent.

“I don’t know anything specific about Jason’s emotions that Monday at St. Andrews, but I guess he must have been heart-broken like anyone would be in just missing out by a shot on the chance of winning a major,” Johnson said.

“But then for Jason to rally like he did in the very next major at Whistling Straits, and after what he went through at the US Open, was very impressive.

“I am not surprised he won (there) and I will not be surprised (if he wins) many more majors as he’s just a quality and talented player.”

And now that Day has broken through to become a major champion Johnson indicated the Queenslander is not one in need of advice or guidance.

If fact, Johnson, 12 years Day’s senior, complimented him by suggesting he may now find himself turning to the Australian for direction.

“Jason knows exactly what he’s doing and if anything, I might ask him for advice," Johnson said.

“And I will go so far as to say that if there is an opportunity down the road when I might have grandchildren, I will happily tell them that I won two majors in the Jason Day era.

“Jason just has the potential to go on and achieve real greatness in this game."