by Jeff Skinner
With winter fast approaching, temperatures near freezing and courses closing their doors faster than a Tom Brady slant pass it seems odd that we were treated to such a smorgasbord of good golf over the weekend.
The European Tour’s 2014 season opened with Morten Ourm Madsen taking the South African Open. The LPGA finished its season in style as Shanshan Feng of China held off a star studded cast to win the CME Group Titleholders Championship and with it the biggest first place check in women’s golf, $700,000.
But the tournament of the week once again took place down under at the ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf. What started as a “Scotty Slam Watch” morphed into a “Great Day”…literally.
The World Cup isn’t just a 72 hole medal play tournament. What makes this event different is the field is made up of two man teams and there is an individual winner and a team winner also. So when Scotty apparently gave the tournament away on day one with a five over par nine on the twelfth hole it looked like the Aussie’s hopes fell onto the very weary shoulders of Jason Day.
Day was dealing with the trauma of losing his grandmother and seven other family members in the Typhoon that devastated the Philippines. He easily could have withdrawn but wanted to honor his country and his commitment. “It would have been the easiest thing for me to just go ahead and pull out of the tournament with what has been going on over the last week,” Day said. “But I really wanted to come down here and play.”
So as Scott clawed his way back into contention Day edged his way up the leaderboard and a third round 66 put him in control of the tournament. He survived some sloppy play on the back nine on Sunday and held off Thomas Bjorn for a two stroke win over the Dane.
Scott was able to finish in third place and paired with Day’s leading total the Aussie’s were able to claim the team portion of the World Cup. So Scott kind of kept his winning streak going but the real winner here was Day.
I am sure it wasn’t an easy decision for him to decide to play. But with his mother in the gallery for support he was able to play through his grief and play amazingly well. “It’s just been an amazing tournament for me,” Day said. “My mother, my family, coming down to support me. I’m just so happy the hard work has paid off, and I’m glad it happened in Melbourne.”
Day’s success under trying circumstances is a heartwarming story and it once again shows, as my brother once told me, even in the worst of times “good things can still happen to good people.”
This week a really good thing happened to Jason Day.