ATLANTA: Newly minted world no.1 Jason Day is on quite a ride, and the Australian golfer isn’t planning to take his foot off the accelerator at the Tour Championship.
“It’s great to see my name up there, it’s pretty cool to be the best player on the planet,” Day told reporters at East Lake on Wednesday as he prepared for the US PGA Tour’s season finale.
“But I understand that to be the best you have to win consistently, so whatever I am doing right now I need to keep doing that because that’s my blueprint that has been working.”
Since finishing tied for fourth at the British Open in July, the 27-year-old Australian has won four of six starts.
That includes a victory at the Canadian Open, his breakthrough major at the PGA Championship and convincing victories in two FedEx Cup playoff events, the Barclays and last week’s BMW Championship.
Day is a remarkable 101 under par for his last seven tournaments.
But his edge atop the rankings over Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth remains narrow—with less than one average ranking point separating the top three.
And now that the wins are coming thick and fast, Day wants to make up for lost time in the ‘W’ department.
“I am just trying to get to my eighth (career) win now,” he said. “When I look at wins I’ve had, to me personally it feels low.”
He believes the elite Tour Championship is a “perfect opportunity” to add to that tally, if only because the field of 30 – reduced to 29 by Jim Furyk’s injury withdrawal—offers fewer challengers.
Playoff bonanza at stake
All will be theoretically chasing the $10 million bonus on offer to the winner of the FedEx Cup playoff points race.
However, only the top five in the FedEx Cup standings – Day, Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson – are assured of nabbing the cash with a win regardless of how anyone else finishes.
Thanks to his position atop the standings, Day can actually claim the bonus with a finish as low as 28th.
Day struggled to come up with ideas for what to spend such a bonanza on, but he acknowledged the money would no doubt pop into his mind if he’s in contention come Sunday.
“It did in 2011 and I choked,” quipped Day, who went into the final round that year two shots off the lead and carded a 71 to finish sixth.
While Day is in pole position in the race for the bonus, the PGA Tour’s decision to re-set the playoff points so everyone in the finale has a chance raises an intriguing prospect for Sweden’s Stenson, who won the Tour Championships and the playoffs in 2013 and could win the series again without a single tour win all season.
“You can be world number one without winning a tournament in a year and you can win the FedEx Cup or Race ot Dubai or anything else without winning a tournament,” said Stenson, who has two runner-up finishes and a 10th place in the playoff events.
“I would love to win a tournament and I came close a few times. But if I finish second or third and win the overall you won’t see me leaving here crying—not out of sadness anyway!”