Monday, March 28, 2016

Jason Day sweeps Dell Match Play to fuel momentum for Masters Jason Day at WGC-Dell Match Play
Jason Day at WGC-Dell Match Play ( Getty Images )
AUSTIN, Texas – Jason Day continued his run-up to the Masters with an impressive 5-and-4 defeat of Louis Oosthuizen in the final of the WGC-Dell Match Play at Austin Country Club on Sunday.
Day, 28, who won the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week in Orlando, Fla., came to Match Play with a reservoir of confidence. He used that momentum to his advantage in his seven matches, leading in 67 of the 101 holes that he played in the week and trailing in only 17.
“I'm very, very pleased to be the champion again,” Day said of his second Match Play title in three years. “It was an interesting week, to say the least. Not even thinking about playing Thursday after Wednesday with a tweaked back on 15th tee, and then getting to No. 1 on Saturday and then winning on Sunday.”
Day came to the Texas capital early Tuesday and, though he walked seven holes, he didn’t play any of the Pete Dye-designed course until he teed it up on Wednesday against Graeme McDowell.
Day tweaked his back on the 15th hole of that opening match, and though he posted a 3-and-2 victory, his future was in doubt.
Against the advice of four of his team members, Day chose to persevere. With trainer Cornel Driessen in South Africa, Day turned to Bubba Watson’s trainer, Brian Smith, for treatment.
“I just want to win,” Day said of his reason for not pulling out after the incident on Wednesday. “I wanted to win so bad that I felt with how I was playing, if I kept playing the way I was doing, I would be holding the trophy at the end of the week, and that's what kept me going.”
The victory, the third-largest winning margin in the 18-year Match Play history, started ominously for Day, who lost the first hole with a bogey after Oosthuizen drove the par-4 hole and won with a three-putt par.
Day rebounded quickly with a conceded hole at the par-4 third and then recorded his first of five birdies on the par-3 fourth to go 1 up. It was a lead that the Australian would not relinquish. Day pointed to the middle of the front nine as the key to his ninth Tour victory.
“Six, 7 and 8 were probably what kept me moving in the right direction,” said Day, pointing to three consecutive pars. “If I bogeyed those holes, he could have won it with a par on 6. He missed, obviously, and bogeyed 7. But he could have won it with a par on 8, as well. So that's the turning point.”
Day will take this week off and then head to Augusta National, site of the Masters, on an emotional high.
“I'm really going to enjoy it, because I'm going to have a lot of fun there this year,” Day said of Augusta, where he owns two finishes of third or better in the past five years. “And I feel like I'm going to play well. But once again, I just have to focus on what I normally do.”



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