It’s been more than two years since Jason Day was last in the winner’s circle, more than three years since he held the top spot in the world ranking, and close to five years since he won the PGA Championship, his lone major title.
While there have been some bright spots here and there, it’s been a tough couple of years for Jason Day, who just recently fell out of the top 60 in the world ranking for the first time in years. But heading into the 2020 PGA Championship, the 12-time PGA Tour winner has been playing some phenomenal golf, continues to climb back up the rankings, and is primed to be a serious threat at Harding Park this week.
Jason Day was the No. 1 player in the world for 51 weeks between 2015 and 2017
After winning his first PGA Tour event in 2010, Jason Day would contend in numerous tournaments but just couldn’t break through for that second win. He was essentially what Tony Finau is now. But Day finally picked up that second victory in 2014 and then had his true breakout year in 2015. Day won five times that year, including his first major at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, where he became the first player in history to shoot 20-under in a major championship.
Following his win at the BMW Championship five weeks later, Jason Day became the No. 1 player in the world, a position he held three times for a total of 51 weeks between 2015 and 2017. He won three times in 2016, including a high-profile victory at The Players Championship.
He lost the No. 1 ranking for the final time in February 2017, at which point Dustin Johnson took over for 64 consecutive weeks.
He last won in 2018 and recently fell out of the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking
Following his most recent PGA Tour win at the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship, Jason Day was ranked No. 7 in the world. Unfortunately for Day, it’s been a slow decline since then. He ended the year ranked 14th. In 2019, he began the year well but struggled late and was ranked 37th at the end of the year.
To begin 2020, he tied for 16th at the Farmers Insurance Open and then finished in solo fourth at Pebble Beach. But he then missed the cut the Genesis Invitational and then was forced to withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational before COVID-19 shut the golf world down.
Upon the restart of the PGA Tour season, Jason Day missed the cut at both the Charles Schwab Challenge and the RBC Heritage. He made the weekend at the Travelers Championship, tying for 46th, but then again missed the cut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, which dropped him to No. 63 in the world, marking the first time he’s been ranked outside the top 60 since August 2010.
But something has clicked for Jason Day heading into the 2020 PGA Championship.
Jason Day has three consecutive top-7 finishes heading into the PGA Championship
Following the missed cut in Detroit, Jason Day had the luxury of playing his home course at Muirfield Village for two consecutive weeks and simply seemed much more relaxed.
At the Workday Charity Open, a tournament where Muirfield played a little easier, Day shot 11-under for the week and tied for seventh. The following week at the Memorial, where conditions were much tougher, he was one of just nine players under par and tied for fourth. Some thought he might struggle once again when he left his home course but that wasn’t the case when Day teed it up at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational this past week.
To very little fanfare, Day again played well at TPC Southwind, finishing just four strokes behind winner Justin Thomas in a tie for sixth, a finish that vaulted him up to No. 42 in the latest Official World Golf Ranking.
It’s been quite a while since we’ve Jason Day playing this well and he could very well end his losing streak this week at the PGA Championship. He’s swinging the club beautifully, making some putts, and knows what it takes to win a major championship. Don’t be surprised if he’s holding the Wanamaker Trophy come Sunday evening.