Day’s massive six-stroke romp to victory at The Barclays on Sunday gave him three wins in his last four events, including the PGA Championship for his maiden major, and sent him to first place in the FedExCup playoff standings.
The 27-year-old Day, who has battled illness and injuries over the seasons, felt a turning point at this year’s British Open, where he finished one-shot short of a playoff at St. Andrews and has been unstoppable since.
“I’m not going to say in the future it’s going to be like this all the time, because it’s very difficult to win,” said Day, who went to a hospital this week for an MRI test on his back after feeling a tweak that forced him to withdraw from The Barclays Pro-Am.
He said the key was “the mentality of … just keep pushing forward, not being okay with okay. Just keep pushing and pushing and pushing.”
Not only has Day pushed his way past a reputation as a nearly man who had a pair of top threes at the Masters, two top twos at the U.S. Open and tie for fourth at the British Open, but he has thrust himself into the chase for world number one.
“I felt like it was my time,” Day said after his near miss in the Open at St. Andrews. “Mentally I felt like, ‘you paid your dues, now it’s time to go out and win tournaments.’
“It’s just something that you have to fail. You fail and you learn.”
Now Day feels it is his time to thrive.
At Plainfield Country Club on Sunday, he left the field in his dust with eight birdies in a bogey-free 62, rolling in long birdie putts on the back nine with a new belief in his stroke.
“The last six weeks (have) been crazy,” he said.
“U.S. Open, The Open Championship, you mix that in with three other wins. The good thing about it is it’s not over. I have this great momentum going into next week (the Deutsche Bank Championship near Boston) to a course I absolutely love.”
Day told Reuters before the tournament that winning the FedExCup could thrust his name into the Player of the Year discussion that had previously seemed reserved for Masters and U.S. Open winner Spieth.
“I’m currently ranked number one in the FedExCup, which is fantastic. There’s three more tournaments I would love to win, and I’d love to win the FedExCup,” he said about the series that pays a $10 million bonus to the overall points winner.
“I think I have the opportunity to get to number one (in the world) if I play some good golf over the next three or four weeks. It’s been a goal of mine.
“I’m definitely, by far, playing the best golf of my life.”
(Editing by Andrew Both)