Date: May 16, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Peers in awe of Day’s achievements

The numbers are extraordinary, but it’s the comments of Jason Day’s peers that carry even more gravitas.

Day, the winner of three US PGA Tour events this season, seven of his past 17 starts and comfortable leader of the FedEx Cup points standings added the Players Championship to his burgeoning resume today.

The Queenslander will move almost 2.5 points clear atop the world rankings tomorrow and his 10th win in the US is the first time an Australian has achieved that feat aged in his twenties.

Then there’s the third “wire-to-wire” win in his past 11 starts, pointing to Day’s domination of the world’s deepest talent pool.

But it’s the words of those who’ve been beaten into submission by arguably the hottest streak since Tiger Woods of 2000 – or maybe 2009 – that are even more insightful than numbers alone.

“It's no coincidence he's No.1 in the world,” said Justin Thomas, who closed with a 65 of his own today to finish third.

“He drives it extremely far (and) extremely straight. He hits it to the moon, so he can access pins that most people can't. His short game is ridiculous.

“I think I've pretty much covered it all there when it comes to the golf.”

World No.2 Jordan Spieth, to whom many thought Day would play second fiddle on the world rankings after his own spectacular 2015 campaign, was grouped with the Aussie for the first two rounds at TPC Sawgrass and left shellshocked by the experience.

“It's tough when you are getting shellacked by 15 shots (actually 14) in the same group,” the Texan said after missing the cut by a stroke.

“You see all those birdies going in and you wonder why you aren't making any of them. It's tough seeing every hole being birdied and not being able to do much about it.

“I'm beating myself up a little too much on the course and it's affecting me. I need to be a little bit more positive with myself on the course and maybe lower expectations a little bit and free myself up. It seems I'm so tense.”

And then there’s someone closer to home, who sees Day even more often than Spieth – our own former world No.1, Adam Scott.

“That’s Tiger-esque, that kind of a run,” Scott said after closing with a 68 to finish T12, eight shots back.

“I always try to explain how good you feel after one win, and I try to imagine how good Tiger felt just playing about five years into his pro career having won like 50 events.

“Just imagine how you’d feel confidence-wise – and Jason must be kind of feeling something like that at the moment, and that’s an incredibly nice way to walk out on the golf course.

“You can see there’s that calmness inside him, calm confidence, and the way he’s walking around, he’s got that kind of unbeatable look about him.”

And Scott isn’t expecting the run to end soon.

“From that stretch last (northern) summer, he’s managed to keep that momentum going and that’s one of the hardest things to do when you are hot like that, to keep pushing.

“But he has a very strong desire to achieve so much, I think probably his goals are changing throughout this period and he’s expecting more and more of himself.

“He’s got that ability to push himself and accomplish.”