Golf: Day draws strength from roller-coaster year

Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:19pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jason Day has been torn between golfing joy and personal grief over the past two months but he believes the experience has strengthened his resolve and character as he aims to build on a "good year" in 2014.

Aged just 26, the Australian has established himself as one of the game's most exciting players and, with a rare ability to perform at his best when the pressure is at its most intense, has set his sights on landing a maiden major title.

Day has recorded six top-10s in golf's blue riband events, including three this year, and proved in stunning fashion that he is well equipped to overcome adversity by completing an emotional double triumph at the World Cup of Golf last month.

Despite just days earlier having lost eight relatives who were killed in the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan, he went on to win the World Cup of Golf by two strokes at Royal Melbourne, along with the team title in partnership with Adam Scott.

"That was obviously a very emotional week and to win the World Cup the way we did and then win the individual (title) on top of that, plus to have my family in town, was pretty special," world number 11 Day told Reuters.

"I have played some pretty solid golf over the last three weeks so overall it's been an up-and-down roller-coaster, as you would think. But I am very happy with how I have handled myself, through the good and the bad.

"It would have been the easiest thing for me to just go ahead and pull out of the tournament with what had been going on ... but I really wanted to play with Adam and try to win the World Cup, and we achieved that which was great."

Day, whose only PGA Tour victory came at the 2010 Byron Nelson Championship, was especially delighted to clinch a fifth World Cup team title for Australia, their first since Peter Fowler and Wayne Grady triumphed in 1989.   Continued...

Australia's Jason Day plays a tee shot during the final round of the World Cup of Golf at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne November 24, 2013. REUTERS/Brandon Malone