Jason Day has been around long enough to know what’s expected of him, and yet somehow the dastardly demonic rumors that came after Tiger Woods had won and to which Day was linked. But the whispers, when the day started, were immediate and deep and negative, and Day was preparing to pack his bags and fly to Australia for a vacation — and then the unthinkable happened.
As first reported by Mark Marek of Golfweek, Day ended up getting emotional at the Masters in 2010 as he recounted the story of how golf grew a hole in his heart.
“Golf and my wife came together in a big way,” Day said. “I was getting to a point where it was just not being good enough.”
Day said that just as he began to plan to pack up and leave for Australia, his friend Phil Mickelson reached out, giving him a call and not only asking how he was doing but also saying how badly he wanted to see Day at the Masters.
Day said the call, which had a previous recipient, was only just starting. “I was in a good place emotionally, but it was really Phil who woke up in the morning and turned my world upside down.”
Day said in the end, it was Mickelson who changed his mindset. “I’m told Phil had been doing this to keep me company through big wins and losses over the years.”
Day said he had always had a bond with Mickelson because of their shared interest in the game. “I had looked up to him,” Day said. “But being on a golf course … he was my friend, and he was also a major champion.
“He made a big impact on me, and he basically saved my career, because I got in a rough patch where I felt like I wasn’t even trying anymore. I was carrying the burden of what I thought was owed to me after winning all the awards and having all this success. So it was Phil who said, ‘just don’t worry about winning golf tournaments anymore. Just worry about trying to get better every day.’ ”
Day said the advice Mickelson gave him resonated with him and brought him to a level where he was able to get “fairly upset” during events that day. “I’d be pissed. So I guess Phil changed that for me,” Day said.