Jason Day has not wasted any time this week in getting to grips with the Royal Troon layout, a course that will pose a challenge to his game given his tendency to play with a high ball flight.
‘I got here Saturday morning, played 36 holes already. It’s a very challenging course.’ Day said. ‘I [am] just so used to the American culture and way of things and playing a certain style of golf. Coming over here having to keep the ball low and not only off the tees, but even around the greens, and trying to adapt your game to certain shots and a certain way of thinking was very difficult for me.’
‘It’s going to be a difficult task this week, as the whole course is. You’ve just got to be patient out there and hopefully give yourself the opportunities. I do think this golf course is more of a driving course. It’s key to hit good second shots, but to set yourself up, you can have one to three choices of what you want to hit out there off the tee. You can lay it back well short of the bunkers. You can kind of take mid-range and go between the bunkers or you can take all the bunkers out and hit driver, and that also depends on how the weather is obviously progressing through the week.’
The signature hole on the Royal Troon layout is the short par-three eighth, in between a run of challenging holes, Day believes that golfers should underestimate the exceptionally short hole at their own peril.
‘The wind and rain could [present] a very difficult task. The postage hole is pretty neat with regards that it’s so short, but you get that left-to-right wind and if you get anything kind of curving on the wind, it can go down and feed into that bunker down in the bottom right there. And if you overdo it, that bunker on the top left is pretty devilish,’ he added.
The Australian is number one in the world for a reason – he has seven wins his last 20 starts coming into this week’s Open Championship. He also finished in a tie for fourth last year at St. Andrews and will bring some confidence into this year’s third major.
‘As time has gone on through the years coming here and playing The Open and really falling in love with what it brings, the feel of it is totally different than what we are used to back home in The States. I grew up playing some Melbourne Sandbelt golf courses, but it’s not really the same as the links golf that we get over here’ he said.
‘Coming so close last year was definitely a motivational factor in that I would love to one day hold the Claret Jug and be able to put my name down in history with the best that have ever lived and played the game. So I’m very excited to be here and looking forward to a nice, challenging week,’ he added.