SOUTHPORT, UK: Australian golfer Jason Day yesterday offered an unusual excuse for arriving later than planned for practice at the British Open - it was US President Donald Trump’s fault.
The former world number one normally pitches up a week earlier for major tournaments to allow himself time to adjust to the course. But this time Day only arrived on Monday.
“I had three weeks off before this, so I could have got in early,” he said. “I was supposed to come in on Sunday. And I was flying through JFK, and President Trump was there and there was a bunch of delays. So I just decided to move my flight back a little bit later.”
Trump had been coming back through New York from the US Women’s Open at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey.
Day also revealed it is not the first time he has been delayed by a US President.
“President Obama held me up one time flying out of Palm Springs. So I understand. It is what it is. So it was massive delays.”
When the 29-year-old Queenslander eventually arrived at the Southport links course, he took the rest of Monday off to recover.
“I usually get in Thursday or Friday and play a couple of practise rounds.
“I did it this year at Augusta and I was just truly knackered by (the start on) Thursday.”
By the time he eventually played Birkdale on Tuesday, the wind had switched, making the conditions different from what can be expected today.
“I played in a southeast wind, which is a totally different wind to what we normally get here. And I think everything is kind of switching for tomorrow’s round. So it’s going to be kind of a new golf course for me tomorrow. But regardless, I’m looking forward to trying to get back into the winner’s circle this year.”
Even though Day boasts the best scoring average of any player in majors since 2013, he has not won a tournament in over a year with injuries and his mother’s ill health disrupting his season and causing him to tumble down the world rankings to number six.
“I’m trying to not give myself too many expectations and hopefully I’m there in contention on Sunday.
“It’s really difficult to play against these guys. And when things are out of order and you’re trying to battle other things it makes it very, very difficult to win.”