MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Former world number one Jason Day is determined to bring a more positive mindset to the Presidents Cup in Melbourne this year after struggling to produce his best for the Internationals team in four consecutive losses to the United States.
The Australian has reaped only seven points from his 20 matches in the biennial team tournament and is still bothered by his 2015 performance in South Korea where he claimed only a half-point as the Internationals were pipped 15.5 – 14.5.
In line to qualify for his fifth Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne in December, Day said he needed to “pick up the slack” as a now senior member of a team looking to break a seven-tournament losing streak.
“I’m the first one to put my hand up in regards to that because unfortunately, it has to start at the top, and I’ve made mistakes with regards to not mentally being there,” he told reporters at the Zurich Classic.
“You can obviously see my results in Korea and I wasn’t mentally there unfortunately with regards to being there for the team when I needed, performing for the team.
“That was one Presidents Cup that we had a very good opportunity to win, and sometimes you have to look at leadership and ask the questions why, and for me, I made the mistake and I need to understand we’ve got 11 other guys on the team that are trying just as hard or trying even harder than myself, so I’ve got to pick the slack up, too.”
Day will partner countryman Adam Scott at the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic, one of a number of prospective Internationals pairings teeing off at the team-based tournament under the watch of captain Ernie Els.
Scott is not one of the top 10-ranked Internationals players who secure an automatic berth in the team but the former Masters champion is highly likely to be a captain’s pick due to his depth of experience at Royal Melbourne.
Day and Scott, who have both carried the world number one ranking and each won majors, have only been paired once in four Presidents Cups – in 2015 when they halved a four-ball match against Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson.
Scott hoped they would rekindle that partnership at Royal Melbourne.
“I think we’re a hell of a team,” he said.
“I’ve tried to push for it to happen more often, but there are a lot of different opinions and things to happen.
“You know, you have to play as a team member and do what’s best for the team, but I would definitely push for this pairing, certainly in Australia. I think it’s very formidable.”
Born in Beaudesert, Queensland, Day first broke into the world’s top ten in June 2011, rising to world number nine after his runner-up finish at the U.S. Open.
In February 2014, he won his first WGC title, the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and would win it for a second time in 2016. With his 2016 win, he joined Tiger Woods and Geoff Ogilvy as the only multiple winners of the WGC Match Play.
He went on to win his first major tournament at the 2015 PGA Championship, scoring a record 20 strokes under par and rising to number three in the world rankings.
He married Ellie Harvey in 2009. The couple lives in Westerville, Ohio