Day loves the big occasion

Jason Day has made a habit out of delivering his best performances in big tournaments, and hopes to continue that trend this week.

The Australian joins 63 of the world’s best players for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona starting on Wednesday, and heads into the event knowing he has what it takes to do well.

Last year, Day finished third at Dove Mountain, claiming the scalps of Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell and Bubba Watson amongst others.

He also has a runner-up finish at Torrey Pines last month to draw from, but most of all Day loves the competitive atmosphere of the higher-profile tournaments.

“I’ve always enjoyed big moments and big tournaments,” said Day, who also has six top-10 major finishes to his name, including a second and a tied-second at the US Open and a tied-second and a third at the Masters.

“My game feels really good to me right now and when it is a big event all I want to do is play great shots and show everyone around the world that I can play.

“This is one of those events where you have to hit clutch shots, you have to be mentally strong, that’s why I love the format.

“Every match feels like a final round Sunday and it is mentally and physically grinding on the body. You just have to be tougher than the other guy and that’s why I think I do well.

“I am never going to quit or beat myself and I am never going to give up against anyone so they will have to come out and beat me.”

Day kicks off his campaign against Dane Thorbjorn Olesen, a player he admits he has not seen a lot of, but he reckons if he just focuses on his own game, the rest will take care of itself.

“I don’t really know much about him (Olesen) except that he can certainly play because he’s had a few good finishes in majors which shows he can handle pressure and isn’t scared,” he continued.

“It’s going to be tough to compete against someone like that but I just need to worry about my own preparation and my own game.

“If I play my best I’ll always be hard to beat. The course sets up well for me and hopefully I can take it all the way this year.”