ORLANDO, FLORIDA | In shooting 66-65 ay Bay Hill to dominate the first two days of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Jason Day did more than answer questions about what’s been missing in his sluggish start to 2016.
Day effectively turned back the clock.
“It felt like it was the second half of last year, especially today, hitting long drives, hitting smart shots into the greens and holing big putts,” Day said after getting to 13-under par through 36 holes. “That definitely felt like the second half of last year.”
You remember last summer. If Day didn’t win, he could have won. He almost won the Open Championship then he did win the PGA Championship, the Barclays and the BMW Championship. From his tie for fourth at the U.S. Open, Day finished no lower than T12 in his last nine starts in 2015.
He ascended to No. 1 in the world for four weeks then, as he typically does, Day shut it down after the Tour Championship and the Presidents Cup. Three months of no golf.
In four starts in 2016, Day hasn’t exactly been chopping it around, but he hasn’t had a top-10 finish and there was one missed cut.
Through two warm days at Arnie’s place, Day looks as if he’s just stepped out of a time machine. So much for any potential concerns about what’s wrong with Jason Day.
The answer is nothing.
“It seemed like you (media) guys had concern for me,” Day said. “It’s tough to be in the position we’re in as top-ranked players because everyone is expecting you to do well and watching what you’re doing and critiquing what you’re doing.
“You can go through the stats and say he’s not doing as well as last year or whatever. It’s harder for us to go through a little bit of a dry spell than, say, the guy who’s 125th on the FedEx list. If you’re around there, no one is paying attention as much.
“But it’s fun. I’m OK with that. It means I’m going to work harder. It’s an indication that I should be playing better because everyone expects me to play better.”