Date: November 24, 2013
Author: Martin Blake, Royal Melbourne

Twin triumph for Day, Scott

It was Australia&aposs day, a few months early. Jason Day closed out strongly to secure his second big tournament win at the World Cup of golf, calmly parring the difficult final hole as his nearest-challenger, Denmark&aposs Thomas Bjorn, imploded in the right greenside bunker. Meanwhile Adam Scott roared around the composite course in 66 to set up the teams triumph for the pair, finishing third himself. It was picture-perfect for both Queenslanders, who each holed out with wedges for eagle — Scott at the first from 120 metres and Day at the short sixth hole from 85 metres, sending thunderclaps around the composite course. Destiny had called them, and Scott&aposs promise to the crown on the 18th green a week earlier came to pass. Now they move on to the Emirates Australian Open at Royal Sydney next week as two of the hottest golfers on the planet. For Day, it is vindication for his method after some near misses, including four top-fives in majors. It was his first win since the 2010 Byron Nelson Classic in the United States. Moreover it came at the end of a period when his family has been in turmoil after the typhoon in the Philippines killed various members of family including his grandmother. Day&aposs mother Dening, who raised him single-handedly from the age of 12 when his father died of cancer, was in the crowd. “I can&apost imagine,&apos&apos she said later. “I am speechless. I can&apost say anything. I love it. Hope we can do it next week.&apos&apos Mrs Day still has not been able to make contact with some of her family in the Philippines. “She&aposs okay,&apos&apos said sister Kim. “She&aposs doing even better now that &aposJase&apos is here. It&aposs still tough, but at least this is a positive thing. Even &aposJase&apos said he is doing it for the family.&apos&apos Day intends donating to the appeal fund, and he is happy to have his family around. “Knowing I can hold them is very special to me. I&aposm just happy she (Dening) is here and I get to hug her. It would have been the easiest thing for me to pull out, be there and support her. But I wanted to come here an Day carded a solid one-under par 70 on a rollercoaster afternoon. He was leading by four shots and apparently in control when he made a fine par-save at the ninth, but Royal Melbourne promptly bit him, with a double bogey six at the par-four 10th hole materialising after his tee shot shot through the dogleg and into deep rough. Bjorn, who had begun the day one-shot back, made his run with birdies at the 11th and 13th holes after hitting it close, rejoining the lead. Scott was a chance, too, until he three-putted the final hole. Two groups back, the veteran Bjorn and the up-and-coming Day went head-to-head. It all turned at the 16th, a brutal par-four back into the wind, when Bjorn flared his drive right into heavy rough and made bogey. Even then, Day had to make a miraculous par-save from a bunker 40 metres right of the green to take the one-shot lead he would not relent. He led by one on the 18th tee but Bjorn pushed his approach into the right trap, and Day knew his mission was to play safely. He punched a six-iron on to the green and then Bjorn took two to get out of the greenside trap, reprising his meltdown in the Open Championship at Royal St Georges in 2003. Bjorn took a bogey five and Day two-putted for a safe par to win by two shots. When he won the Byron Nelson three years ago he leapt into caddie-coach Col Swattan&aposs arms; this time he gave a little fist pump and hugged his mentor, a little more subtly. He is maturing nicely, and the notable feature of his golf this week was his soundness. All four rounds were under par. “I&aposm going to embrace being a World Cup winner tonight,&apos&apos he said afterward. “I won&apost go crazy, but I will definitely have a drink or two. Right now I&aposm the happiest guy around.&apos&apos The humble Scott told the crowd at the presentation that Day played so well that he &apos&aposjust kind of bowled along up there behind him&apos&apos, but it was more than that.”I picked the right partner,&apos&apos he said later. Day won $1.2 million for his work, and the Australian pair, who won the teams event by 10 shots from the United States, shared $600,000 for that. It is Australia&aposs fifth win in a World Cup of golf, and the first since Wayne Grady and Peter Fowler hoisted the trophy in Spain in 1989. Peter Thomson, who won it twice with Kel Nagle, was in the clubhouse watching, and he crossed paths with Day straight afterward. &apos&aposHe (Thomson) said that he was going to see his friend Kel Nagle, and tell him what he saw today. I replied: &aposI&aposd like to have five British Opens, too&apos! He said: &aposAt least get three&apos!&apos&apos FINAL LEADERBOARDS INDIVIDUAL 1 Jason Day -10 2 Thomas Bjorn -8 3 Adam Scott -7 4 Matt Kuchar -6 T5 Ryo Ishikawa -3 T5 Kiradech Aphibarnrat -3 TEAMS 1 Australia -17 2 United States -7 3 Denmark -5 4 Japan -5 5 Canada 2