Australian Jason Day finally put all the pieces of the major championship puzzle together, winning the USPGA Championships at Whistling Straits and setting the lowest total score in major championship history (-20) in the process.
Day, pictured inset, finished three shots clear of American phenomenon Jordan Spieth after a superb final round 67(-5). Day has been agonisingly close in several majors before.
He finished second in the 2011 Masters and US Open, came very close to winning both the 2013 Masters and US Open and was in contention at this year’s US Open only to suffer from a severe bout of vertigo and fall just short, before leaving a putt to get into a playoff in The Open Championship just an inch short only three weeks ago.
Day’s performance at the USPGA Championships was superb. He excelled in every department of the game, finishing in the top five for driving distance, driving accuracy, greens in regulation and total birdies. He holed an incredible 60 out of 62 putts within 10 feet for the week. That combination of incredible ball striking and putting is pretty hard to beat.
Whilst Day’s golf game was clearly firing on all cylinders last week, it is the resilience he showed in learning from his previous disappointments and bouncing back to victory which is the most impressive thing about his first major win.
Rather than dwelling on what might have been, Day resolved to continue to work on the things that had put him in position to win before, whilst also improving areas such as his diet and physical training.
Day is a great example to golfers everywhere. As we all know, golf is an extremely difficult game and you don’t always get the results that your hard work deserves.
We cannot control what our opponents shoot, what bounces we get or whether a putt lips in or lips out. Therefore we can’t actually control the score that we shoot or the outcome of a tournament, no matter how much we would like to be able to.
What we can control, however, is the way we respond to our near misses or our ‘bad’ rounds and ‘bad’ holes.
If you feel like you aren’t seeing the results you would like, realise that if you keep working on the right things, like Jason Day has found, the results will eventually come.
Near misses show you are on the right lines, and sooner or later you will get the right bounces and hole the putts needed for the outcomes you are looking for.
Be resilient and learn from every golfing experience and you will be a much stronger player in the long run.