The adjective that every golfer both craves and fears has found its way onto Jason Day.
The 28-year-old Day had it tossed on him repeatedly on Sunday as he went wire to wire to win the The Players Championship at Sawgrass, finishing 15-under.
It’s his seventh win in his last 17 starts, paving the way for him to knock Jordan Spieth out of the No. 1 spot in the world for the time being.
It’s not just the number of wins, it’s the fashion he’s winning in. The last five times he’s led after 54 holes, he’s gone on to win. Three of those victories have been wire-to-wire; only one other player even has one of those in the same time span.
And the connection is even stronger when you consider that Day and Woods are close. Day has called Woods his mentor and frequently communicates him before and during tournaments.
“Is it Tiger-esque? I guess you could sort of say it is, but I think this motivates him to keep on working and keep on practicing hard and keep on winning,” Day’s longtime caddie and instructor Colin Swatton told ESPN. “When Jason’s on, he’s the best player in the world, and obviously this week proves it.”
Much like Woods in his prime, Day pretty much iced the tournament after two rounds, starting with a 63-66 combination that left the rest of the competition sucking fumes. Ireland’s Shane Lowry was four strokes behind after two rounds in second place and wound up tied for 16th.
Even shooting 2-over on the back nine Sunday couldn’t dampen Day’s weekend. When American Kevin Chappell crept within four strokes after an eagle on No. 11, Day birdied 12 and 16 to make sure things didn’t get any closer.
Not surprisingly, Day took over the No. 1 spot in the FedExCup with the victory, the first man to 2,000 points. Fellow Aussie Adam Scott is second with 1,848 points, no other player is within 500 points of Day at this early stage.