Jason Day Reveals How Near He Came To Quitting Golf

Jason Day currently sits in a share of the lead at Torrey Pines and is looking for his first victory since 2018

Day waves to the crowd
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For Jason Day, the last three seasons have been difficult at best, with the Australian suffering repeated back injuries which caused him to even consider retirement a year or so ago. Now though, the former world number one seems to be finding a little bit of that 2015-16 spark. Going into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open, for example, he actually holds a share of the lead.

This is in a field which contains the world number one, Jon Rahm, as well as one of golf's future stars, Will Zalatoris. However, Day perhaps feels more content with how things are progressing swing and body-wise than he does about sharing the lead of a PGA Tour event, confessing that the last three years have been "a big ball of stress".

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"It's just that you come from being the top of the world and then all of a sudden it kind of falls out beneath you", admitted Day. "I'm just happy that I'm obviously not still out of it, but I'm glad that I've given myself a chance at it tomorrow. That's the ultimate goal, to put myself in the position where I can win tournaments.

"I feel like it's been a long time. Even though I've had some good finishes here and there in the last three years, it's been difficult to know that like, hey, do you want to keep pushing it, because it's painful either way. It's painful if I walk away, it's painful if I keep pushing on, so I just had to kind of suck it up.

"You've just got to understand that it's going to take a long time for me. It may not for other guys, but for me it's taken a while and just stay patient with myself and just stay positive as much as possible because sooner or later it's going to change."

Day fist bumps Schauffele whilst withdrawing

Day withdraws from the CJ Cup in 2020 with injury.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

After securing just three top-10 finishes throughout the 2020-21 PGA Tour season, the 34-year-old feels ready to win at Torrey Pines and the Farmers Open Championship, a venue which has played host to two of Day's 12 PGA Tour victories.

"It's nice to be able to know that I've done it on the golf course twice, not only in regulation but also in playoffs. Tomorrow's a new day though and you don't know what's going to come. I've just got to get a good rest tonight, get into it tomorrow and just be patient.

"I can't be overly excited about it. I know I've been in the position before. I just know that everyone's going to be super pumped to be either in the final group or in and around that. I've just got to forget what other people are doing. If I can go out there and just play within myself, then I should be able to give myself the opportunities. I just can't get inside my head too much, I've just got to go out there and be patient."

Day holds the trophy

Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in 2015 and 2018.

(Image credit: Getty Images)
Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x