The Masters Tournament was within reach for Australian Jason Day this past Sunday, but alas, his hopes of a first major championship and green jacket slipped away on the back nine at Augusta.
While it was heartbreaking to watch the 25-year-old have yet another Masters victory slip away in the final round (similar to 2011), I was more impressed with the way the young Aussie walked off the 18th green.
After bogeying on the 16th and 17th holes, and ultimately surrendering the tournament lead he held walking onto the 15th tee box, Day could have stormed off in disgust after putting out on the 18th hole. It would have only made sense for the youngster to be furious and visibly distraught, right?
Instead, he walked off the green in search of his wife and little boy. The world's No. 25-ranked golfer, per the latest Official World Golf Rankings, quickly spotted his two joys in life with a big smile on his face. It was good television too.
Day had just collapsed down the stretch in the world's greatest golf tournament, yet none of it seemed to matter as soon as he hugged his wife and baby. That speaks volumes to his character not only as a golfer, but as a human being that knows what's truly important in life.
If you weren't already a fan of Day's heading into the Masters, how could not like him now?
Similar to fellow Australians Adam Scott and Marc Leishman, Day just seems to have the total package. Day is a young, composed, good-looking family man that just so happens to also be an excellent golfer. In my book, that's a definite combination for a truly successful career on and off the course.
On the PGA Tour this season, Day has four top nine finishes in eight starts. Furthermore, he still hasn't missed a cut on tour in 2013. The kid's play is excellent right now, and he just fell a little short this past weekend at Augusta National (finishing in third place).
While the young Aussie's lone win on the PGA Tour came all the back at the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Classic, he's a player on a mission early in the 2013 campaign. It's safe to assume that he may well notch his second career PGA win in one of the many tournaments before the U.S. Open in June.
In fact, who's to say he can't win this week at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town?
As for U.S. Open at Merion Club this summer, Day should be in contention again for his first major. In 2011, he finished second at the U.S. Open after finishing in a tie for second at the 2011 Masters.
In the end, Day knows his time to win a major is coming. The Augusta Chronicle's Brent Maycock noted the golfer's comments at the close of the final round:
Obviously, I think the pressure got to me a little bit. I haven’t had the lead too many times in majors. If you can have a shot in most majors, sooner or later you’re going to get one. I can’t look at the week as a disappointment. Obviously, I’d love to wear the green jacket. I’ve been dreaming about it since I was a kid. I think I just have to take the experience and keep going on.
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