SAN DIEGO: World No.1 Jason Day says he is in no hurry to join the elite band of golfers to break 60—and insists winning titles will remain his priority.
An electrifying start to the year on the PGA Tour has seen two players duck under 60 already, with Justin Thomas posting only the seventh 59 in tour history at the Sony Open before Adam Hadwin emulated the feat last week at La Quinta in California.
Day however said carding a 59 was not a high career priority as he heads into this week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course outside San Diego.
“It seems like it’s normal now. Like you’re going out and shooting two under par on the back nine. Just everyone’s doing it,” Day told reporters on Tuesday.
“I would much rather win the four majors than shoot a 59, you can put it that way,” the Australian star added.
“Let’s face it, shooting whatever, 59 is great. For me personally, I don’t really care about it to be honest. I just want to shoot as well as I can to win a tournament and that’s all I pretty much care about.”
Torrey Pines’ challenging North and South Courses also make it highly unlikely that anyone will be threatening the 60 barrier this week—which suits Day fine.
“I like the tougher courses that don’t yield as many birdies and you’ve got to mentally grind and try to survive,” Day said. “I kind of feel my game is suited to those more tough golf courses even though I do like going as low as possible.
“It is a US Open-style golf course on the South and it’s a very, very difficult task. That excites me because I want to play golf courses like this.”
Managing back injury
Day meanwhile is hoping for a happier challenge at Torrey Pines this week after 2016, where he missed the cut after winning the title in 2015.
Day blamed a flu virus for his missed cut last season on a course where he won a World Junior Championship in 2004.
“I didn’t want to play, especially the way I did, and obviously you don’t want to be sick and it’s tough,” Day said.
“That week my whole family was sick and it’s kind of easy to contract a virus like that.”
Day meanwhile says he is carefully monitoring a back injury which cut short his 2016 season.
The 29-year-old said so far this season he had been able to play pain-free but revealed he had spoken to former world number one Tiger Woods, who is also playing in San Diego this week as he steps up his return from a long injury layoff, about the risks of suffering lifelong problems.
“I was talking to Tiger about this the other day. I said I want to win as much and I want to be successful and all that stuff, but at 40 I don’t want to be walking around with a cane,” Day said.
“It’s great, but there’s nothing like having your health and being able to wake up in the morning, just jump up and not even have a care in the world that your body’s injured.”
Day meanwhile has been paired in a star-studded group for Thursday’s opening round, teeing off alongside Woods and Dustin Johnson at Torrey Pines’ South Course.