Date: November 26, 2013
Author: Golf Australia

Jason Day press conference transcript

JASON DAY HAMISH JONES: Jason, welcome to Sydney and what a way to come to Sydney on the back of your performance in Melbourne. JASON DAY: Yeah, definitely an exciting week for myself and my family. Obviously it was mixed emotions during the start of the week but to go out there and play the way I did in tough conditions at Royal Melbourne with a lot of good players that were trying to catch me was an amazing feeling. The way I handled myself, I felt like I really matured playing that last round. It felt great. I&aposm really looking forward to getting some good preparation going into this event. I&aposm going to go out there today and play 18 holes. I haven&apost actually quite seen the course yet but I&aposm going to play 18 holes today and then play the Pro-Am and get some good prep before the week starts. HAMISH JONES: What does the Australian Open mean to you this week? JASON DAY: It&aposs one of the tournaments that I&aposve always wanted to win. It&aposs huge to an Australian. So many great names have been through and won the trophy. To one day hopefully put my name on the trophy would be an amazing honour, to be on that trophy. This week is going to be tough, we&aposve got some good competitors in town and anyone on any given week really out here can step up and play well and win the Tournament. I&aposm going to have my work cut out for me this week, but I&aposm definitely going to enjoy myself. I&aposm glad to be here in Sydney and I&aposm really looking forward to the week to get started. HAMISH JONES: Jason, you&aposve been paired in the first two rounds with Adam and with Kevin Streelman. What&aposs your feeling on the hype continuing? JASON DAY: Can you believe that was the first time I actually found out. Normally over in the States we find out practically right around this time, so that was quite surprising pairing that I&aposve got. I&aposve known Kevin for a while now, being over in the States and Scotty – me and him go way back, so definitely looking forward to that pairing Thursday and Friday. So it&aposs going to be exciting. Hopefully we put on a good show for the fans and hopefully we get some nice weather, so a lot of people can come out and watch us. I&aposm very excited now to go out there and play. Q. Jason, a lot of good judges have been saying in the last couple of years that once you get your second win under your belt the floodgates might open. Is that the way you feel and hope? JASON DAY: It&aposs been a long time since my first to the second win. I&aposve been a very consistent player over the last few years but just haven&apost quite got over the line; very consistent in the Majors. I think it&aposs been more of a learning curve. That first one sometimes can feel like a fluke. Even though I played well at the Byron Nelson, I felt like I learnt so much more last week than I have over the last three years. Just to know that I was going to sleep Saturday night thinking – oh man, I had so much time to think about what was going to happen Sunday, to the way I handled myself on the back nine, starting off with a double bogey on 10. I had a four shot lead there for a while and that kind of got cut in half pretty quick. But to be patient with myself and really keep things going my way and not really looking back on what happened on 10, and understanding that I had to be patient out there and give myself opportunities and the more opportunities I had, the better chance I had of winning. To finish the way I did was amazing. To hit that five iron into the last green to give myself a good shot at birdie – in the end I only had a two putt, which was great. What I learnt last week, you can&apost learn it any other way but experience it. It was good experience for me and hopefully I can take what I learnt last week into this week. I&aposm really hungry to play well this week. Q. Jason, you&aposre number 11 in the world after winning on Sunday. How important is it for you to get back in the top 10 and then beyond that, is number one still a big goal of yours? JASON DAY: Yes. It was surprising to jump from 18 to 11. If I have a good week this week I can definitely jump into the top 10. Being number one has always been a goal ever since I practically picked up a golf club. I&aposve always wanted to get to that number one spot. We had a goal, me and Colin actually had a goal when I first met, back when I was like 13, 12, 13 that we wanted to become the number one player in the world and we had a goal to get there at 22. We ended up getting to number seven at 23, so we fell short. But it&aposs still on my mind to get to that number one spot. Now there are a lot of tough competitors that I have to get past but if I keep working hard and putting the dedication and time into my game, I think the sky&aposs the limit, as long as I stay hungry to want to get to that number one spot. I think the biggest thing is to actually want it. You can say it as much as you like but until you actually want to get to that spot, then that&aposs it, so. Q. Jason, you&aposve made very limited appearances here in Australia since turning professional. JASON DAY: Yes. Q. Any chance we can see you a little bit more in the future? JASON DAY: Definitely. I miss Australia a lot, I miss home. It&aposs just so hard. I&aposve had injuries in the past, I&aposve had things go on and with my son being born and all that other stuff that&aposs gone on off the course, it&aposs kind of been hard to get back but I definitely look forward to coming back every chance I get. It&aposs kind of hard now to deal with the new wrap around season that we have on the PGA Tour with how everything&aposs pretty much non-stop now, but I miss home a lot. I miss coming back and playing in front of the home crowd. I&aposm really looking forward to having the chance to play against Scotty and Kevin and Rory as well over the next week, really just trying to focus on this week to get started. Q. Can we narrow that down a bit; will we be seeing you every year? JASON DAY: [LAUGHS] Q. It&aposs two years since we last saw you in this country. JASON DAY: I don&apost know, I really don&apost know. To be honest, if I told you an answer I&aposd be lying to you; so I really can&apost narrow that down. Q. We don&apost want you to become a stranger in your own country you know? JASON DAY: No, I&aposm never going to become a stranger mate. I miss it a lot. I really want to be able to take my kids down here. I really enjoy the Summer down here when it&aposs Winter back home. My family&aposs still here, my mum and my sisters. I definitely want to be back here a lot more. Q. You&aposd probably need a dog sitter in America though, wouldn&apost you? JASON DAY: I&aposve got my mother in law for that. Cheers mate. Q. Jason, I don&apost know, you were sort of talking about getting together for a drink on Sunday night. I&aposm just wondering what you did do on Sunday night and what&aposs the text messages been like; any sort of special messages of congratulations that you&aposve received? JASON DAY: Yeah, I&aposve had a tonne of messages from Sunday night all the way through to today. I&aposve been a big slack getting back to people – Greg Norman, Scotty and all those other guys – off the top of my head – Warnie texted me, a bunch of other guys that I know texted me as well. There have been a lot of messages over the last few days, which has been great. It&aposs a good feeling. If you&aposre not getting those messages you&aposre not really doing something right. It&aposs great to be back in the winner s circle. Sunday night I really had a quick dinner. I didn&apost go out and drink; I didn&apost do any of that stuff. I had dinner with my family and I was in bed by 10. I had to wake up the next morning to go to the gym. I was really trying to focus on preparing for this week. I know that this week&aposs huge for me and I didn&apost want to go out and waste a day on Monday after a big night. I&aposm only down here for a couple of weeks, so when I come down here I want to take everything seriously and I know that everyone else is too. So if I&aposm one day behind in preparation, it&aposs only hurting my game. Q. Jason, what are you first memories of the Australian Open, I&aposm talking about both playing and also watching? When you were a kid I think you might have played at the Australian in 2004? JASON DAY: Yeah, it was a long time ago, geez, it&aposs coming up to nine years now. I enjoyed hitting that first tee shot at the Australian, but even as a kid watching it on TV. The fondest memories is just sometimes skipping school and just watching it on TV. That&aposs probably not the best answer, saying skipping school, but it was only a couple of days a year that I got to do that and that&aposs really the kind of stuff that really inspired me to go out there and practice more, is really enjoying the Summer of golf here. After I would watch that I&aposd always want to go out and practice the next day to really just be like everyone else that was playing the Australian Open. I remember Badds winning the Australian Open here and a lot of good players have won over the past. To etch my name into that trophy would be a complete honour going back on that question that I had earlier, hopefully that one day I&aposll be that inspiring person to another kid that wants to get out and practice and play golf as well and 10, 20 years from now that person is sitting in my very spot. Q. Jason, you mentioned you had that goal to be number one by 22 or 23. When that doesn&apost happen, do you reassess it? Have you set an age now or a time frame that you want to get that number one spot? JASON DAY: It&aposs just so tough with Tiger being at the top. You&aposve got to be working harder than him. You&aposve got to be playing well every week. I don&apost know if there&aposs a time limit. I think it&aposs just I have to improve each and every year. I have to get better and have to have that extra edge over the next person; whether that&aposs diet, extra hours in the gym or extra hours on the practice range. Golfers have to be selfish with their time sometimes. It&aposs a real balancing act when you have a family and everything else. Over the next few years I&aposm really going to try. I&aposm still going to playing until I&aposm – hopefully playing in my forties, but I&aposm going to be working very hard to try and reach that goal. I definitely want to accomplish it earlier in my career than later. But you know, it&aposs always been that goal and we&aposll see how it goes. There&aposs no real time limit that I&aposve set. Like I said before, I just have to really sit down and see what I need to improve. That&aposs really just sitting down with my team and going on from there. Q. Jason, lots of talk about how close Adam is to number one and to Tiger. How close do you think he is and can you also just explain what it&aposs been like coming back to Australia and the buzz around golf in this country now after Adam&aposs great year? JASON DAY: Yeah, well Scotty s had a phenomenal year this year, winning the Masters, winning the Barclays and coming down here and winning two straight away, playing well last week. The buzz in Australian golf right now, it&aposs in a good place. The only way we can really get kids out to play more is for us to play better and win and he seems like he&aposs doing that very easily right now. It&aposs always fun to get back here in Australia and play, to see the fans and to really get that Australian accent back is nice from being over in America for so long. You start to lose it a little bit. I&aposm sorry, what was the first part of your question again? Q. How close do you think Adam is to number one and to Tiger? JASON DAY: You know what it&aposs really up to Scotty. I always talk about wanting enough; if he really wants it he&aposll go out and get it because he&aposs good enough to play against the best players in the world. He&aposs won the Masters; he&aposs done so many great things in his career. Tiger&aposs very, very motivated to become the best golfer in history. It&aposs going to be tough for him to catch him but if Scotty goes out there and wins early next season you could see him jump up the world ranking to number one pretty quick. Tiger has a very limited schedule that he plays, I think it&aposs around 15 or 20 events, same as Scotty, but Scotty plays a little earlier as well. It really depends on how Tiger goes and how Scotty goes. It could be very quick or it could be a long time. It&aposs hard to say. Q. Jason, a couple of questions. Has the family stayed with you? Will they be here this week? JASON DAY: Yeah, everyone&aposs here this week, we came across Monday morning and they&aposre here. We&aposre staying at the casino here and it&aposs good to have them in town again, to spend some quality time with them. I haven&apost seen them for a year. The only time I get to see them is obviously this time of the year. I think with what happened a couple of weeks ago, that I&aposll try and get my Mum over for a couple of weeks to spend some time with Dash and Ellie as well. It&aposs been hard for her so it would be nice for her to come across and really just not think about anything else and just hang around us. Q. Your next event, you&aposre going to play Tiger&aposs event? JASON DAY: Yes, my next event after this, I leave Monday morning to LA and we&aposve got Tiger&aposs event for the week. There&aposs only 18 guys playing in it but it&aposs very competitive. Q. Will you spend the Winter in Ohio or do you go down to Fort Worth? What do you do in terms of practising during the Winter months in Ohio? JASON DAY: I&aposve got about a month and a half off after this stretch of golf. I&aposm going to be freezing my butt off up in Ohio. It&aposs snowing there and it&aposs going to be very cold. I may sneak away a week or two weeks prior to the season starting and practice and try and prepare for the season, but I think the majority of the time is going to be spent up in Ohio with family and friends. Q. Jason, I know you&aposre quite good friends with Adam. What&aposs he like to play with in all seriousness because of the length he hits it off the tee. Is there an ego thing that comes in for you? Does he knock it past you by a little bit or a lot? JASON DAY: I haven&apost played with Scotty for a while so I guess we&aposll find out on Thursday and Friday. I&aposve heard over the past few weeks that he&aposs been knocking it out there a long way and straight. So it&aposs a pretty lethal combination any time he plays because the guy hits it – his ball striking is unbelievable. Every week he stands up there, there&aposs probably no one in the world that gives himself more opportunities on the greens than him. My length, it&aposs not short, we&aposll see who hits it longer out there. I&aposm not too familiar with the golf course, so it&aposs kind of hard to tell how many drivers you want to actually hit out there but he&aposll probably hit it past me because he looks a little fitter than me. Q. You spoke last week about how tough mentally it was given your family link to the tragedy in the Philippines, I imagine that sort of burden just doesn&apost go away very quickly. How are you placed mentally coming into this week? JASON DAY: I feel good. With what happened in the Philippines I just feel for my Mum. It&aposs tough losing your mother. Obviously, I lost my Dad when I was 12 so it&aposs kind of hard to really think about what the feelings were going through my body when that happened. It&aposs hard for anyone to really sit down and go I can never hold that person again. This week I&aposm really focused on what I need to do and give myself the best chance at winning the golf tournament and that&aposs preparing the best I can. Mentally going off last week, it was mentally and physically exhausting, it felt like a Major playing last week with how tough the course was set up and how tough the weather conditions were, but this week is going to be another grind I know but that s why we prepare. That&aposs why we do all the little things to get ourselves in the right mental frame to go out there and compete against the best players in the world. Mentally I&aposm in a good spot. I&aposve got my family here with me this week and I&aposm happy. The only thing that&aposs missing is my wife and my son. But I get to see them every morning, every time I wake up I can just Facetime them, so mentally I feel good. Q. Jason you just mentioned Dash there, does he eat Vegemite – a totally trivial question. JASON DAY: [LAUGHS] He tried it but he spat it out. Q. Do you still eat it? JASON DAY: I eat it a lot. I always get some. You can actually get it at World Markets over there, so it&aposs pretty easy. I get that and the Daryl Lea Australian liquorice, in Target you can get it over there too, so it&aposs kind of special, but you can&apost eat too much of it. Q. What are you going to do about Dash and Vegemite though? Surely you want him to be half Australian? JASON DAY: Yeah, well you know what, I&aposm going to get him on to that, because Ellie loves Vegemite. I can&apost get her away from the stuff, which is good, because most Americans when they smell it, they&aposre like, what are you putting down your throat? But hopefully over time I can kind of introduce it to him. He&aposll have a very mixed accent I think as he grows up. HAMISH JONES: Any further questions ladies and gentlemen? Okay, Jason thank you for your time. Good luck this week. JASON DAY: Thanks guys, cheers. Transcripts provided by