Australian Jason Day will tee off on Thursday with new irons and a new caddie as he looks for a fresh approach to enter his eighth Masters.
Rika Batibasaga, on the bag for Day’s win at the Farmer’s Insurance Classic and his runner-up the next week at Pebble Beach, takes over from Luke Reardon, who replaced Colin Swatton as Day’s looper last year.
It will be Batibasaga’s first appearance at Augusta National.
‘Hopefully that will make things a little bit lighter out there for me and a little bit more fun for me,’ Day said.
‘Over the last few years, it’s been a grind trying to get that win, because a lot of people have come up to me and said, “This is your year. You’re going to win won one.” And that can add a little bit more pressure … Hopefully we can make things a little less stressful and go out there and have fun.’
The second change is an equipment shift from TaylorMade’s P750 to P730s this week after struggling with his approach shots in recent weeks. The 2015 PGA Championship winner ranks well outside the top 100 in strokes gained: approach-the-green and just outside the same number for greens hit.
‘Hopefully with this current change, that will slowly bring everything in,’ he said, ‘and give myself a few more opportunities on the greens.’
Day’s best finish at The Masters was back in 2011 when he finished second to South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel.
The former World No 1 is off at 17:04 (SA time) with Bubba Watson and Henrik Stenson.
Find out more about TaylorMade’s P730 irons
Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images