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Day sick, lacks sleep in defending first major title

Other Sports
Thu, 28 Jul 2016


Springfield, United States: Top-ranked Jason Day is sick and tired after a trip to the hospital with his wife and unfamiliar with the formidable Baltusrol layout where he defends his first major title starting today at the PGA Championship.

The 28-year-old Australian, already fatigued after playing three events in four weeks, rested Monday and Tuesday and did not practice at the 7,428-yard, par-70 layout, deciding to play his first 18 holes at Baltusrol on the eve of the tournament.

What Day didn't plan for were his children passing along their illness to him and his wife, Ellie, having an allergic reaction and being taken to a nearby hospital after they attended Tuesday's Champions Dinner.

"Ellie had an allergic reaction last night and had to go to the hospital. We were there until two o'clock or something like that so I'm kind of running on E (empty) right now," Day said.

"I had to call the paramedics over. She was kind of freaking out in the back of the bus, which is understandable, because she got all red. I've been in that situation before when I first ate seafood. That's why I don't eat seafood anymore.

"So we ended up calling 911, the paramedics came and they looked after her which is great. She's fine now. We got a little bit of loss of sleep but we're fine."

It didn't help Day caught the family cold.

"Dash and Lucy are sick right now and Dash kind of passed that on to me a little bit," Day said. "Like, I'm OK. I'm fine. I'm just a little bit under the weather."

Day's caddie has scouted the course and Day spent 30 minutes with Baltusrol's club pro, Doug Steffen, going over the layout.

"But with the limited practice and prep I've had, I'm not coming into this week expecting a lot," Day admitted. "I'm not really going, 'You need to go out and force things straightaway.'

"I've got to really try and manage my patience out there, because I have very little patience right now. Every time I get a little bit under the weather, I've got zero patience. I've got to manage that the best I can.

"I really have to go out there and try and find a game plan that works for me."

Basically, Day is breaking all the rules this week that he set out to follow to try and keep his top ranking.

"I really enjoy being up at the top of the world rankings and I really want to see how far I can take myself in my career to see how long I can hold it there," Day said.

"A few things go into that. Scheduling is huge, not trying to overdo yourself. Making sure you take the proper time off, rest, recover, practice. All these little things come into effect when you're trying to obtain or keep the number one spot."

It's why Day opted for extra rest and less practice this week.

"A lot of people underestimate the rest, especially sleeping and recovery time. Rest is huge, because if you're sleep-deprived, that can definitely run into the mental side of the game. That can definitely hurt your game. If you can find ways to catch up on sleep, that's the best way."

And it hasn't helped that Day has yet to crack par in any major first round in 2016.

"I think it was just bad golf to be honest," he said. "There's a little bit of expectation on my shoulders that I've got off to a great start, come out and fire on all cylinders and get yourself up the leaderboard and show people that you're there and you're ready to win.

"I think if you try a little bit too hard sometimes, you can kind of shoot yourself in the foot. I think that's what I did in the first two majors."

Day tees off Thursday morning alongside four-time major champion and world number four Rory McIlroy and US 46-year-old left-hander Phil Mickelson, a five-time major winner who captured the 2005 PGA at Baltusrol.