Date: July 13, 2015
Author: Rob Grant

I can contend at The Open says Day

Jason Day will play on medication for his vertigo problem at this week's British Open at St Andrews but is confident he will be competitive.

The Queenslander collapsed on the final hole during the second round of the recent US Open at Chambers Bay but battled through to finish the tournament – amazingly tying for the 54-hole lead with a stunning third round.

He faded in the final round but went on to finish in a creditable share of ninth.

Day is back determined to be among the pacesetters at The Open but admitted to London's Telegraph after playing 18 holes with former champion John Daly, he was concerned the recurring bouts of vertigo, which have been linked to an inner ear infection, could return.

“I’m on anti-viral medication and that suppresses it,” Day said. “So hopefully I won’t have another episode here. It’s vertigo. It comes and goes. There is a concern at the back of my mind, but I just have to deal with that and go out and play golf. It happened at the US Open, and I’m just hoping it doesn’t happen again here.

“I went and saw a doctor in Columbus (Ohio), Dr Oas. We sat there and talked for at least an hour and a half about history, when I first got it, all that sort of stuff.

"We debriefed the last five years. He did tests on me and prescribed these medicines. I am on them until October and then on 19 October I go back for more tests.

"After those tests we will sit down again and go over those results. If I need to stay on the medicine I will stay on the medicine, otherwise I will jump off them. I asked him if this was something I would have to stay on for the rest of my life; he said possibly, it could be, but we will see how it goes.”

Day said his treatment was having a positive effect although the issue continues to persist, albeit in a less serious fashion.

“Just a little bit here and there but it hasn’t been as severe as Chambers Bay,” he said. “Every now and then I would look a certain direction and my vision would shake a little bit but nothing too bad.”

Day said he had no choice but to try to complete the US Open, although following his collapse he was rushed to hospital after putting out on the final hole on Friday. He was then given powerful drugs to get him through the final two rounds.

“I would ask you, if you had the opportunity to win the US Open would you do that as well? A lot of people would say yes," he said.

"If it had happened on the 16th or 17th, there is no chance I was going to finish. I was just glad that I was up around the green where I could get it done. I had a litre and a half of intravenus in me then went to hospital that night.

“They prescribed two drugs, Zofran and Meclizine. Zofran is given to cancer patients for sickness after chemotherapy.

"I was pretty sick for the next two days, I didn’t feel great. I was shaky but the vertigo symptoms were not as severe. I don’t know how I played that well on Saturday. It would have been nice to play better on Sunday but just to get it done was great. Hopefully I don’t have to go through that again.

He said one of the reasons he carried on through his illness was the support he received from family, friends and fans.

“I was just so happy that a lot of people were supporting me. There were a couple of times throughout the tournament that I felt I couldn’t carry on any more, that I would have to go in. I just kept on pushing through and counting down the holes that were left.

"I didn’t really look at my Twitter because it was blowing up. My agent got a lot of emails, calls and text messages. I got the same. That was all nice. It made me happy that they were all supporting me. It would have been great if I had won the tournament, it would have been a great story.”

Despite the problems, Day can be considered a contender this week, due in part to the lusher than normal St Andrews course, which has been criticised by Tiger Woods who was expecting the "dustbowl" he won his two Open titles at St Andrews on.

A long hitter and a steady putter on slower greens, the world No.8 believes he has a good chance, shrugging off any pressure which might arise.

“The pressure? I would love that pressure and stress,” Day told The Telegraph. “I think Saturday (at Chambers Bay) was more about fighting through and not really caring about what other people are doing.

That’s why being sick is OK sometimes because you are just focused on trying to get it done, try and get through every shot that you have.

“When you are healthy, sometimes you start looking at leaderboards, start looking at other guys. I really focused on myself and I took a lot of positive stuff out of that week. Even though I was sick, I learned a lot.

“I feel healthy and ready to go. I’m excited about playing this golf course. I feel good about my game and I’m excited about being healthy. Now I want to get in contention again, that’s the plan.”