When Jason Day ended a five-year title drought by winning the Byron Nelson on Sunday, one of the first to congratulate the Australian was Tiger Woods (47).
Woods’s colourful language would not allow Day to say what the 15-times major winner told him but the sentiment in more a PG (parental guidance) tone would be along the lines of “well done, mate”.
“I can’t say what he said because a lot of it was like F-words in it,” laughed Day.
Confronted with career-threatening health issues Woods and Day have shared an obvious bond.
Woods’s struggles are well documented.
He has endured multiple knee and back surgeries, the most recent ankle operation he had in April to address post-traumatic arthritis related to the injuries he suffered in a 2021 car crash preventing him from teeing up this week at the season’s second major at Oak Hill.
Day’s battles have played out further from the spotlight as he dealt with vertigo and debilitating back problems which nearly forced him out of the game.
Although Woods provided support, Day says he did not lean on the American great but rather used him for motivation.
“We would text each other constantly about just trying to push each other,” Day told reporters on Wednesday. “I would say that I wasn’t relying heavily on Tiger, but it was just more of a – kind of we’re pushing each other to try and get back to where we need to be kind of thing.”
Day and Woods are major winners and former world number ones and both possess the same defiant attitude when it comes to injuries.
Listen to Day and he echoes Woods in their absolute refusal to surrender.
Woods has always maintained he never enters an event unless he believes he can win.
With less bravado Day expresses similar self-belief, setting himself the goal of returning to the top of the world rankings.
“It’s good to have goals,” said Day, winner of the 2015 PGA Championship. “Getting to number one is a goal.
“But there’s a difference between having goals and then walking into a golf course and expecting it.”
Coming off an emotional victory it would be tempting to arrive at the PGA Championship believing a major win was next.
While Day can see more victories in his future, he knows that probably does not mean this week.
“It’s in my nature to expect bigger and better things, so I’m just trying to cool the jets on that and understand that, hey, I’m here at a major week this week, don’t expect too much,” said Day.
“It would be nice to get another major. It would be nice to get back to number one.
“I’m really trying to not get too far ahead of myself.”