“HOW sweet it is.” The words tweeted by Australian golfer Jason Day as he claims both the BMW Championship and the world number one spot.
The 27-year-old held a big lead and his nerve on the final day of the BMW Championship to win the tournament by six strokes – his fourth win from his last six starts.
In doing so, Day became the third Australian golfer (Greg Norman, Adam Scott) to claim the world number one spot to go along with his US$1.4 million winners cheque.
Day won in style by making birdie on the 18th hole at Conway Farms Golf Club, capping off a wire-to-wire victory.
“I’ve just had to work so hard,” Day said immediately after sinking the winning putt.
“The mentality swung at The Open Championship. Something changed in my head, and I thought it’s my time to start winning tournaments.”
Day had struggled throughout his career to win tournaments, but his consistency and impressive record in majors was what boosted him up the world rankings. Now, the young Australian has found his winning edge and he can now call himself the best in the world.
“For our whole team lately its all been about reaching number one,” Day said.
“I felt a lot of pressure over the last few days. Yesterday and today had to be the toughest rounds of golf I had to play in my entire life.”
Day claimed his fifth title of the season, which included the PGA Championship last August. He joins both Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh as the third player in the last 20 years to win at least five tournaments.
Leading from wire-to-wire isn’t something Jason Day is accustomed to and it took its toll on the usually mentally-tough Queenslander.
“To be honest I had a terrible sleep over the last few nights,” Day said.
“Thinking about getting to number one, thinking about winning the tournament, knowing that I had to win this tournament to get number one in the world, I had very bad sleep just thinking about it all the time.
“I think I had more bad sleep just because I had such a big lead and I didn’t want to give that back. I didn’t want to lose it because obviously having a big lead like that and losing it would have been terrible for me personally. But just to play the way I did, very disciplined, knowing that I had to be patient, not looking at leaderboards as much, but giving myself long putts. But I understood that because I had to make sure I didn’t make certain mistakes out there.”
Day ended the round at -22, six shots clear of young American Daniel Berger who recorded his second career PGA runner-up finish. Rickie Fowler finished eight shots back at -14 for a tie for fourth with former world number one Rory McIlroy. Jordan Spieth finished in a tie for 13th.
The FexExCup now shifts to East Lake Club for the final tournament of the PGA calendar where the top 30 players will battle for the TOUR Championship and a potential US$10 million bonus.
Jason Day was asked about his momentum heading into the TOUR Championship and just how tired he will be following that tournament and also the upcoming President’s Cup where Day is currently paying $5 at Sportsbet.com.au to be the international’s top scorer.
“Well, I’ve only got two more events for the year, next week [TOUR Championship] and President’s Cup, so I’m going to try and get rest,” Day said.
“I’m going to go fly back home and fly down to Atlanta on Tuesday night. I can understand that once this week is done, I’m going to celebrate – once this week is done, it’s done. I’m going to focus on next week, and that’s the TOUR Championship and the FexExCup. But for now I’m just going to celebrate winning this week and being number one in the world. That’s fantastic.”