Even though he is one of the most respected players on the PGA tour, Australian star, Jason Day, still feels that he has underachieved. In an interview with Golfwold’s Brain Wacker published on October 11, 2018, Day confessed that his performances and achievements dim in comparison with the likes of Tiger Woods and northern-Irishman, Rory McIlroy.
While this may be true, and though you may also appreciate Day’s sense of modesty, there is no denying the fact that he has also accomplished a lot in his career. In 11 years as a pro, the Australian golfer has nabbed about 16 titles, reached the status of World No. 1, and played in 4 Presidential Cup teams. He also has at least one major in his kitty and therefore qualifies to be termed a success in his chosen field of endeavour but how has he been able to achieve all that?
A Passion That Took Hold Of Him At The Tender Age Of Six
Born in Beaudesert town in the Scenic region of Queensland, Australia in November 1987, Jason Day is the son of an Irish-Australian father and a Filipina mother, and it was his parents who nurtured his interest in the game of golf. As the story goes, Day’s father, Alvin, discovered a discarded golf club in the trash and gave it to his then-three-year-old son. The little boy initially utilized the club to destroy random objects but by the age of six, he started using it to swing like a golf club. Day slowly began taking interest in the game and wound up practising at local sports clinics.
He also attended junior clinics and developed a flair for the game. Day’s budding passion however suffered a setback after his beloved father died of stomach cancer when he was 12. The tragedy affected the young boy greatly and he stopped practising the sport. He took to partying and drinking until his mother staged a well–needed intervention. She sent him off to a boarding school in Queensland with golf courses and he recommenced practising.
Additionally, he read a book about great American golfer, Tiger Woods, and this inspired him to take golf seriously once more. Jason Day got his first big win at the age of 13 when he won the 2000 Australian Masters Junior event in the Gold Coast city of Australia. He then went on to win several other amateur titles, including the 2003 Adina Watches Junior Tournament, 2004 Callaway World Junior Championships, 2005 Victorian Junior Masters, and also made the Golf Australian National team.
He Hit The Ground Running When He Turned Pro
Day’s professional career began in July 2006, and a year later, he won the Legend Financial group Classics in Highland Heights, Ohio. In achieving this feat, the then 19-year-old lad made history as the youngest individual to win a PGA Tour-sponsored event and also walked away with a mouth-watering price of $525,000.
Following that historic debut, Jason Day suffered a slight slump in form for 2008 and 2009. He, however, bounced back in 2010 by winning the HP Byron Nelson Championship in May of that same year. The title once more saw him make history, this time as the youngest Australian to ever win a PGA event.
Since that time, Jason Day has gone on to win not less than 15 professional titles, including the WGC Match Play Championship (2x), the Farmers Insurance Open (2x), The Barclays Championships (1x), BMW Championships (1x), Arnold Palmer Invitational (1x), RBC Canadian Open, The Players Championships and Wells Fargo Championships (1x).
His Maiden Majors Triumph and Attaining The Status of World No.1
Jason Day has enjoyed a worthwhile career since turning pro but his best season remains the 2015 season when he nabbed his first major championship. As any golf fan should know, the sport has four major titles, including the US Open, the PGA Championship, the Masters, and the Open Championship, and they mark the zenith of any golfer’s career.
Day came agonizingly close to winning his first major title at the US Open (2011 and 2013) and the Masters (2011) but finished a painful second. He however preserved and emerged victorious at the 2015 PGA championship where he got the best of American, Jordan Spieth. That achievement, coupled with follow-up wins at the Barclays and BMW Championships saw the Australian star attain the rank of world no. 1 for the first time ever in his career. That stay at the summit, however, lasted just weeks as he was overtaken by Spieth.
His Mother’s Battle With Cancer
Day hails from a family of five. It comprises of his father, Alvin, mother, Dening, and two siblings, Kim and Yanna. As earlier stated, Day lost his dad to stomach cancer when he was just 12. That loss devastated him and he found himself going astray for a while. He later strengthened his path and was able to make something of himself.
Day’s resolve was however tested a second time when his mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2017. Doctors gave her just a year to live and the player flew his mom out to Ohio to get better treatment. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy and got better for a while. She later relapsed in 2018, and had to undergo oral chemotherapy.
Through it all, Day stood staunchly by his mother’s side. Even though the whole episode took a toll on him and affected his performance on the golf course, he stayed strong as she was the one who made him what he is today. Luckily, she recovered and the golfer is now happy. He has taken to campaigning on cancer awareness. He has also stated that the whole episode taught him that his loved ones are his number one priority and not golf.
Personal Life Of The Aussie Golfer
Jason Day is happily married to Ohio native and self-described country girl, Ellie Harvey. The couple first met in a restaurant in Ohio where she worked as a waitress in the year 2005. The shy Jason found it hard to approach Ellie but eventually worked up the courage to do so. They became friends and two years later, commenced a romantic relationship.
They moved in together shortly after and tied the knot in 2009. The couple has remained happily married since then and split their time between homes in Fort Worth, Texas, and Ohio. Ellie proudly supports her man on the golf course and has even caddied for him. She has however not let go of her own ambitions and has an online business degree to her name.
On December 17th, 2015, the couple made the headlines after Ellie was injured during a basketball game. The then-Cleveland Cavaliers player, LeBron James, fell on her as she was seated on the front row of the court while watching the game. She took quite the hit and was stretchered out of the game and hospitalized.
Jason and Ellie have three kids together. A son, Dash, who was born in 2012; a daughter, Lucy, born in November 2015; and son, Arrow, born in November 2018. The couple lost a baby after Ellie suffered a miscarriage on December 12, 2017. The whole experience was quite painful and she used her Instagram page to share some of her grief.