On the golf course: Jason Masters, on the Masters, finds pain and perseverance

Posted by on April 13, 2019  /   Posted in golf reviews

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Masters is the major that Jason Day dreamed of winning since he ventured out as a teenager to escape an almost certain escape working in a meat processing plant in his native Australia for the future. The day had to be very difficult to overcome his impoverished beginnings, so it is strange that he became known on the PGA Tour because of his vulnerability.

The day has scaled up the men's rankings, but he has also faced the depths of discomfort in the majors. Sometimes he succeeded, sometimes not. He withdrew during the second round of the 2012 Masters due to an ankle injury, but continued during the 2015 United States Open despite fear of heights and pairing for the ninth. He has endured various aches, pains and diseases and he won the 2015 P.G.A. Championship. A few frightening minutes this week it seemed like the fate of Day & # 39; s Masters would be a painful WD again.

Shortly before making his ninth start with Augusta National, Day leaned down to kiss his toddler daughter and back. He felt pain throughout the year in the area and at the second hole on Thursday he had his chiropractor treat his back before he could continue.

At that time, his goal of winning the Masters was giving way to just 18 holes trying to complete. And yet, somehow, Day not only survived, he also flourished. After 36 holes, he is in the lead at seven o'clock. It turned out that he was so focused on his back that his ambition to win was pushed to the back of his head and freed him to place scores of two under 70 and a second round 67.

"Augusta National, the masters, everything that is going on this week, how great it is, and the distraction to want to win this tournament so badly, and sometimes it is almost a disguised blessing," Day said , referring to his injury. "It just brings out expectations and tries too hard."

People mumbling behind the ropes, even at the Masters, where the rules of decorum are included in the spectator's guide. Day & # 39; s mother, Dening, who made the trip from Australia to see him play, followed him during the first round. She decided to stay in her room and watch Friday's action on television, partly because it upset her to call her guests a big baby and the like.

Day has learned to be deaf to the naysayers. Last month, Day & # 39; s lower back flashed with pain at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he is a former champion, withdrawing a few holes in his first round.

Day and his wife, Ellie, took their three young children to Disney World the following day, and a family photo ended up on social media. That caused criticism from people wondering how he could one day withdraw from a golf tournament to appear in an amusement park the next day.

Day later said he did not go on rides but walked around the park to loosen his back with the blessing of his doctors. Speaking for his next start, the Players Championship, where he stuck for the eighth, explained to Day why he ignored the opinions of those outside of his inner circle.

When he allowed himself to be reacted, he said, "You don't get anything out of it except that you look sour or angry or bitter."

Day listens to his 10-year-old wife. He woke up on Friday in the recreational vehicle that had their home on wheels and grumbled because his back hurt. His wife told him that these were the Masters and that he had to work it out mentally.

Her words stung, but only for a second. Then he carried out a mental reboot, because of course his wife was right. And she walks the walk; Ellie Day covered all 18 holes of his first round on foot after slipping and bruising her arm and leg during the par-3 competition on Wednesday.

"She has three children and I am not, so she is a lot stronger than a person in terms of pain," Day said with a smile, adding, "She was trying to get me ready for today, and it finally did. "

Day had more work on his back before he clicked on the practice series and felt good to go. He birdied all four par 5s in his six-birdie, one-bogey round. It was driven by grit, but also by anti-inflammatory pills.

Day, 31, acknowledged that he also took several cortisone shots this year to play. They are short-term solutions that do not address the problem of his chronic back injury.

In a season as compressed as this, with majors lined up as private planes flying to Augusta Regional airport this week, Day does not consider resting as an option. April is the Masters, May is the P.G.A. Championship, June is the United States Open and July brings the British Open. And on Friday, he said that operating was not an option.

"I want to stay away from this as much as possible," Day said. "Once you've cut yourself, you can't undo what you've done there."

For the day, this weekend's key will continue to play as if the outcome didn't matter, as he did on Thursday when he finished 18 holes was his only goal.

"I hope I can adopt the same attitude, even though I feel pretty healthy now," he said.

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