Day braced for response
Jason Day is looking forward to going head-to-head with Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth at the Memorial Tournament this week.
All three players have, at some stage in their careers, been the world's number one ranked player.
After storming to victory at The Players Championship three weeks ago, Day is the man who currently holds that position.
Long gone are the days when Tiger Woods dominated the sport and instilled angst in the rest of the players on Tour merely by his presence at a tournament.
Spieth and McIlroy, and a host of other young players on Tour for that matter, are fearless. Day's status as the best golfer in the world will only motivate them, rather than frighten them.
Day knows this.
"I heard a couple of weeks ago that it bothered Jordan that I was winning tournaments and have the number one spot in the world," Day said in the build-up to the week at Muirfield Village.
"And it should. It should bother guys who are competitive and want to stay on top as well.
"I know I'm pushed that way as well when I see Rory or Jordan on top of the world. I want to do that as well. So it's great to see how they've responded so quickly."
Day is a member at Muirfield. Interestingly enough though, his familiarity with the course has not resulted in success at the course over the years – he has never finished in the top ten at the Ohio venue.
Day explains his poor form at his home track by pointing to the fact that he plays it outside of competition so often that he has become used to taking options that are not the right ones when the pressure is on.
Hitting driver on a short but tight par four when a few beers are at stake is completely different to hitting driver on a short but tight par four when one of the most coveted trophies on Tour is on the line.
"I typically play this course when I'm playing in a social round," he explained.
"I play it very aggressive. I'm hitting drivers off most tees or taking lines that you wouldn't take.
"For some reason, I've kind of turned that into the actual tournament, I'm taking similar lines, and you just can't do that.
However, he insists that this year his approach has changed.
"I feel different this year. And I'm hoping for a better result."
Rarely, if ever again, will we see Day, Spieth and McIlroy all arrive at an event on the back of a win. That will be the case this weekend though. It is really one not to be missed.
Phil Mickelson on Tiger’s latest surgery: ‘I feel bad because golf should be a game of a lifetime’
Mickelson admitted he was saddened by the news of Woods’ latest back surgery.
Rory McIlroy makes brilliant start to fog-affected Abu Dhabi Championship
McIlroy has a remarkable record in Abu Dhabi with four second-place finishes.
Rory McIlroy shines in Abu Dhabi to take first-round lead following flawless 64
McIlroy has a remarkable record in Abu Dhabi with four second-place finishes, three thirds and a fifth in his last nine starts, but has never won.
Justin Thomas on end of Ralph Lauren deal: ‘They moved on so that’s what I’m doing as well’
Justin Thomas said he was upset by...
My last win feels a long time ago – Rory McIlroy aiming to start year on a high
McIlroy has not tasted victory since November 2019.
Rory McIlroy insists Justin Thomas will ‘try to be better’ after homophobic slur
World number three Thomas was heard using a derogatory word towards himself after missing a par putt in Hawaii.
Rory McIlroy backs Tiger Woods to make quick recovery from latest back surgery
McIlroy expects the American to be fit for the Masters in April.
Tiger Woods focusing on return to PGA Tour after undergoing fifth back operation
The 45-year-old will miss the Farmers Insurance Open and the Genesis Invitational.
Lee Westwood resumes bid for record-equalling 11th Ryder Cup appearance
The 47-year-old occupied one of the automatic places in the team before the golf was stopped due to Covid-19.