LEMONT, Ill. – Jason Day shot his first over-par round since the FedEx Cup playoffs began, carding a 1-over 72 Thursday at the BMW Championship that included numerous loose shots, including a wedge from 145 yards that dunked into the pond on the 18th hole.
For Day, ranked fourth on the FedEx Cup points list, it was a stark turnaround from last week, at the Deutsche Bank Championship, where he opened with a 63 and finished second to a red-hot Charley Hoffman on Labor Day.
“It was a slow start, but I was just very flat,” Day said of his round in which he hit only half the fairways and 12 of 18 greens. “Just really tired over the last couple of weeks. It has been more mentally straining and stressful than physical.”
Since winning the HP Byron Nelson in mid-May, the young Australian has not missed a cut and finished in the top 10 four times, including a 10th-place finish at the PGA Championship. But that was when he could set his schedules, and the playoffs force you to play week after week.
“I think three is pushing my max,” Day said. “Two weeks in a row I can do; three is a little too much.”
Some well-documented and undiagnosed physical issues have made playing four good rounds for Day a chore. Then add the fact that he is playing in his third event in a row, his fifth in six weeks, and the task has been made more difficult.
Of course, playing in the final group on Monday with a quick turnaround also took its toll on Thursday.
“Being in the last group, I’m just going through the motions out there,” Day said. “I’ve reached all my goals this year, and as soon as you reach your goals, you have to sit back and reassess everything and just make up some new goals.”
For Day, he may have to wait until next year to reassess. No matter what he does this week, he will be in the Tour Championship in two weeks, and then will address his physical issues later in October when he visits a clinic in Cleveland.
“It’s a lot harder to try and get up in the morning to stay motivated,” Day said.