A rotating cast of caddies took a toll on Jason Day's 2019 season

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A rotating cast of caddies took a toll on Jason Day's 2019 season

PGA Tour

A rotating cast of caddies took a toll on Jason Day's 2019 season

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There’s maybe no relationship more key in competitive golf than the one between player and caddie. Jason Day has had a rotating cast of bagmen in his 21 starts this year, employing four different caddies since the beginning of 2019.

Day, fielding questions prior to the start of this week’s Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico, called it “a massive change within the camp of Team Day.” That bit came in response to a question about a 2019 season that included six top-10 finishes – steady, but by no means up to Day’s standards.

“When you go through changes like that, trying to find the right makeup, the right chemistry, it takes some time,” Day said of his frequent caddie change-ups. “But I feel like with what I’m doing with David (Lutterus) out there, I think we’re slowly working on the communication and things are working and they’re coming around.”

Lutterus, a former PGA Tour player who has logged countless rounds next to Day as a player, picked up with Day at the BMW Championship. The Australian Day had been working with New Zealander Steve Williams, who famously caddied for Tiger Woods through much of his early career.

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Williams worked six events with Day, beginning with the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in June, where Day finished T-21.

Day just had one top-10 finish during that run (a T-8 at the Travelers Championship) and added a pair of missed cuts – at the British Open and the Northern Trust. They parted ways after what Williams called a “disconnect” following the Northern Trust.

Before hiring Williams, Day had spent the first six months of the year with two other friends sharing bag duties – Luke Reardon and Rika Batibasaga.

In a chilling side-story to all this, Lutterus survived a near-fatal motorbike accident just weeks before starting work with Day. He was hospitalized for a week in July when he crashed a four-wheel motorbike in Ohio. Lutterus suffered a concussion and a broken jaw when the vehicle’s roll bar struck him in the face.

“He’s tremendously lucky,” Day told the AAP at the BMW Championship.

Caddies aside this season, Day also felt the effects of not having a trainer for much of the past year. With his back acting up, it made it hard to put in the kind of practice he would have liked. It was yet another factor that went into an off year.

“I’ve done everything I possibly — especially in this offseason, kind of start of the season for me — to get my team back together.”

For the next few weeks, however, “team” takes on a new meaning as Day prepares to compete on the 12-man International Presidents Cup team. Day is playing Mayakoba for just the second time in his career, and the first time since 2009. Much of that has to do with needing a warm-up for the matches, which will come to Day’s Australian homeland next month.

“I’ve had a lot of experience around that golf course, which is good,” he said of Royal Melbourne. “It’s crucial heading into the Presidents Cup.”

Finally, an advantage for Day.

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