Jason Day idolized Tiger Woods while he was growing up in Australia and they have become good friends and Day has become a good listener. So when Tiger kept sending him text messages all weekend rooting him on he took it to heart.
“It gives me so much confidence that a person like that would believe in me,” Day said. “I was idolizing him ever since I was a kid and watching him in ‘97 win the Masters for the first time and all of a sudden I’m playing the TOUR and I’m pretty close with him now.”
Tiger’s messages were always the same: Be yourself, stay in your world.
Woods certainly knows a little something about winning, especially at Bay Hill where he has won eight times.
In a display of mental toughness he succeeded in grinding out nine pars and three birdies over his final twelve holes. He also managed to get it up-and-down twice in his final five holes. Because of that he was able to shoot a final round 2-under 70 and win by one over Kevin Chappell with the help of this epic 31 yard bunker shot on the last hole.
“My iron play was very, very poor over the weekend but one thing that helped a lot was my short game,” said Day, who managed to finished the tournament at 17 under which will move him to No. 2 in the world.
“I holed a lot of shots out this week, moreso than I’ve ever done in my career and it’s all that hard work that I’ve been putting in from the start of the season on my short game because I know that that’s one strength that I hold. If I have a good short game it gives me a boost of confidence and gives me the confidence that I can go out there even when I don’t have my best stuff with my full game and my swing can go out there and play well.”
“I was able to walk up there and have a special moment with the King,” Day said. “That’s something I always wanted to do.”
When he was told that he also accomplished something Woods has never done at Bay Hill: Lead wire-to-wire, he had this to say as he laughed:
“I never knew that, I will text him that tonight.”