Golfers will tee off at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey, tomorrow morning for the 98th annual PGA Championship.
Australia’s world number one, Jason Day, will be aiming for back-to-back titles after enduring a chaotic preparation for the event.
Day has been battling illness after competing in successive tournaments at the Open Championship and the Canadian Open. Then yesterday morning his wife was taken to hospital with an allergic reaction. The Associated Press reported that Day took Monday off from practice, and has reassessed his goals heading into the event.
“I’m OK. I’m fine. I’m just a little bit under the weather,” Day said. “With the limited practice and limited prep that I’ve had this week, I’m not coming into this week expecting a lot.
“I mean, obviously I’m expecting to win, but like I’m not really going, alright, you need to go out and force things straight away. More concerning for me is I just need to feel, even though I’m comfortable with winning, I need to get back to the point where I feel like I go out there and win every single week.”
Day’s title defence will not be easy, with some tough competition in the likes of Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.
Stenson won his first major at the Open Championship a couple of weeks ago at Royal Troon in record fashion, outplaying veteran Phil Mickelson who finished second.
Johnson won the US Open this year and followed it up with an impressive performance at Royal Troon. He is cool, calm and collected and will give Day’s title defence a shake up.
McIlroy and Spieth are experienced in this arena. McIlroy will aim to win his fifth major after he won the PGA championship in 2012 and 2014. In 2016, McIlroy has been in a form slump despite finishing in the top 10 of the Masters and the Open Championship. Last year, Spieth had five victories and collected two majors. This year he has struggled to find the form he had in 2015 after claiming six top-10s and finishing second at the Masters.
Day, 28 has won seven PGA Tour events in the last 12 months, including his inaugural victory in the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. – Jesse Mullens
Photo of Jason Day with his 2015 PGA Championship from Day’s personal Twitter feed.