PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Turns out algorithms can create stress for golfers, too.
Jason Day enters this week’s Genesis Open with his World No. 1 status on the line. Multiple scenarios could vault Dustin Johnson or Hideki Matsuyama into the top spot, and considering Day’s mediocre Riviera Country Club track record, the top-dog status bequeathed to him by the Official World Golf Ranking might be in jeopardy.
“I mean, it is more of a pride thing at the end of your career, you want to know how many weeks you were at No. 1,” Day said. “To get there even for one week is pretty special. No one can take that, you were No. 1 in the world for one week away from you, which is great.”
Still, Day said the No. 1 status has been both “exciting” and “tough.” Really tough.
“I wouldn’t trade it for the world even though it’s mentally and sometimes physically demanding because once again, you’re out doing everything, you’re seeing the fans, seeing the media, trying to play competitive golf and then you go back home and you’re trying to be the No. 1 dad as well,” Day said. “Unfortunately, sometimes it’s really, really difficult not to bring it home.”
Day has not played Riviera since a T-62 finish in 2012, with two missed cuts prior to his last start here. The 29-year-old Australian is looking to his career turnarounds at The Players and Arnold Palmer Invitational for inspiration this week. However, he does plan to change up his routine and seemed assured about becoming reacquainted with Riviera during Wednesday’s practice round.
“I feel like I’m a better player now than I was however many years ago I actually entered and played in this tournament,” Day said.
World No. 1, to be exact.