Sports / Golf

Tiger's tips helping Day prepare for TPC

By Agencies (China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-12 07:55

World No 1 Jason Day hopes that advice from Tiger Woods will come in handy at The Players Championship this week as he attempts to break his slump in the tournament regarded as golf's unofficial fifth major.

The 28-year-old Australian has forged a close relationship with Woods in recent months with the former world No 1 regularly offering advice via text messages.

Woods, a two-time winner at TPC Sawgrass, will not be competing in Ponte Vedra Beach as he battles his way back from an extended layoff after back surgery.

 Tiger's tips helping Day prepare for TPC

Jason Day says he is grateful to get advice from Tiger Woods. AFP

But Woods' influence could well be significant if Day mounts a successful challenge for the $1.89 million winner's check.

"Some of the shots I hit, some of the decisions I make are because of what me and Tiger have talked about in the past," Day said on Tuesday.

"If there's a guy whose brain you want to pick, it's him. He did it for so long, did it for many, many years, won so many tournaments. He knows what it's like to win in the modern era."

Day said he often turns to Woods for motivational advice, revealing that he is hoping to emulate the sort of mental toughness that became synonymous with Woods during the 14-time major winner's peak.

"If I'm looking for a bit of a pep talk or something like that, I always text him. He always ends with like, 'Go get it done.'

"You've got to earn the wins, they're not given to you," Day revealed.

"It's a lot about just trying to get better mentally and that mental toughness that he had for so long."

Day, the 2015 PGA Championship winner, says a victory at The Players Championship could ultimately end up shaping his legacy.

"It's a golf tournament that you really want to win and have it on your resume at the end of your career because it's such a huge event," he said.

"This is one of those tournaments where, if you're on the border of getting into the Hall of Fame, this could kick it over and get you in."

Olympic medals

Players who want to see what they've been missing for the last century can swing by the USGA Museum for the next month. On display will be the medals won by H. Chandler Egan at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis - the last time golf was in the Games. It is returning this summer in Rio.

Egan won the silver medal at Glen Echo Country Club, finishing behind George Lyon of Canada.

Egan also won a gold medal in the team competition. He was captain of the US foursome that represented the Western Golf Association.

The medals are on loan from Egan's grandson, Morris Everett Jr.

"These medals are an incredibly important piece of golf history," said Michael Trostel, director of the USGA Museum.

"To have them on display is a real treat for fans of the game, the Olympics and sports in general. This exhibit is a great opportunity to connect golf's Olympic past to its future and celebrate its return to the Games this summer in Rio."

The medals will be on display at the museum in Far Hills, New Jersey, until June 8. Then, they will go to Oakmont for a display at the US Open.

They will then be loaned to the World Golf Hall of Fame as part of a special Olympic exhibit.

Monty's last stand

Colin Montgomerie would like nothing more to return to the British Open this year at Royal Troon, where his father was the longtime club secretary.

Montgomerie's only chance is through Local Final Qualifying, and that is where he will be.

"I'm going to play in one more Open Championship, I would love it to be this year," Montgomerie told the PGA Tour's website on Tuesday.

The 52-year-old Scot said he will try to qualify at Hillsdale Golf Club in Southport, which is adjacent to Royal Birkdale.

"There are 60 players for five spots," Montgomerie said. "It will be difficult playing against the young players. At the same time, I can qualify if I play my best."

The last time the Open was at Troon, Montgomerie was three shots out of the lead going into the weekend and closed with 72-76 to finish 12 shots behind.

Attitude adjustment

James Hahn does not mind talking about his blunders, though caddie Mark Urbanek gave him a different attitude last week.

Hahn made a 10 on the par-4 16th hole at Quail Hollow last year, calling it the "best 10 I have ever made".

Going into the Wells Fargo Championship this year, he had no trouble sharing his tale with whoever was in his group.

"I said, 'You got to listen to this story.' And my caddie was like: 'Why are you telling this story? Why would you want to relive that?'

"He's like, 'Let's think about the week. We're going to beat this hole.' And I thought about it for a second and I was like, 'You're right. We're going to play this hole 1-under par for the tournament'.

"And lo and behold, I played it 1-under par for the tournament."

It was enough for Hahn to get into a playoff and beat Roberto Castro for his second PGA Tour victory.

"It's crazy how thought can become a reality," he said.


Former British Open champion Mark Calcavecchia is the latest to have a monthly show on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio. Golf According to Calc debuts on Wednesday .... Keegan Bradley has parted with caddie Steve Hale, who had been on his bag since Bradley's rookie season in 2011 that included his victory in the PGA Championship. Bradley is using Chad Reynolds, who had been with Nick Watney until Watney decided to take the rest of the year off so his back could heal ... The Pacific Links International on the PGA Tour Champions, originally scheduled for China on Sept 23-25, instead will be held in British Columbia, Canada, with the field increased from 60 to 81 players .... The USGA accepted 1,855 entries for the US Women's Open at CordeValle in Northern California ... Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Florida, will host the US Women's Amateur Four-Ball in 2019.

Stat of the week

The winner of The Players Championship earns $1.89 million. Arnold Palmer earned $1.86 million in 734 career starts on the PGA Tour.

Final word

"If it was an easy game, there would be a lot more people competing at a high level." - Rickie Fowler.

 Tiger's tips helping Day prepare for TPC

James Hahn celebrates with his wife Stephanie and daughter Kailee after winning last week's Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina. AFP

(China Daily 05/12/2016 page22)

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