*may have used this title before.
So here we are, thinking of all the next best things to come around golf the past decade or so, and we come to Jason Day. Well, we didn’t exactly think of Jason Day, we were thinking of all the really great young golfers that came up with dollops of potential, and after about twenty minutes of remembering highlights from tourneys past, we faintly remembered a Golf Magazine article proclaiming Day as the next challenger to Tiger.
I remember not getting the hype…partially because I’m not exactly an expert on Aussie amateur golf and mostly because I’m predisposed to think all Aussies are in the Greg Norman/Adam Scott mold*…i.e. they struggle with the chokes.
*Of course, none of this hatred extends Geoff Ogilvy’s way…but that’s a story for another day.
Well, here’s a mea culpa. After consecutive Aussie wins by Scott and Day, I’m finally ready to proclaim this the Fortnight on the Barbie.
Now, none of my irrational disposition towards Aussies is Day’s fault, necessarily, but I’m not going to lie, I felt vindicated in my hatred after watching Day struggle in his initial attempt in American professional golf. I know I’m a sick fuck, but I got more shadenfraude from watching a superstar golf prospect fail than I did from watching Rich Rodriguez torpedo Michigan football*, and I’ve got to say, I felt happy for Day, especially after hanging in there all day with a swing that just wasn’t cooperating.
So the question is now, what does the future hold for Day?
A future with numerous PGA Tour wins, and maybe a major or two could be in store if Day gets his swing together and tightens up his short game. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least considering Day does have a nice arsenal of shots for such a young kid, but I think that’s been part of the problem…a good looking (/no homo) Aussie that bombs it out there with the best is sure to garner outsized hype and attention, much like Adam Scott, and it might not behoove Day to have this much ink heaped on his plate when he’s such a young player.
So while Day’s win was nice, I feel perspective is still needed. Despite the relatively little attention the sadly decaying Byron Nelson Classic has garnered (and it’s a shame…Byron was an all-time great and ever since he’s passed, the tourney has gotten weaker and weaker…it looked like a Nationwide Tour event this weekend), anytime a young kid gets into the winner’s circle, it’s sure to make the press believe things that might not be true. It happened to Sergio here in the states. It happened to Anthony Kim last year. It happened to Adam Scott.
And it’s Scott that will be the most oft mentioned comparison just because of their nationality and similar style of play, but I think if the recent golf prodigy past has taught us anything it’s that the professional golf viewing world is taking these things with a grain of salt.
Maybe this time around Day won’t be plagued with the same expectations and we’ll see the next great Aussie rise to the elite.