Jason Day narrowly misses another major

Day chalks up another second place finish at a major but his moment in the spotlight can’t be far away.

Jason Day congratulates Justin Rose on his 2013 US Open victory.

Justin Rose almost deserved his US Open victory based on the shots he played on the 72nd hole alone. A majestic tee shot found the seclusive fairway which was followed by a 4-iron that would be most aptly described as pure.

Phil Mickelson played a typically Mickelson-like round. He complained the par-3 third hole was too long (it probably was), missed putts, pitched a shot in for eagle, made a mistake with a wedge from the green that ultimately left himself with a chip shot on the final hole to force a playoff.

Jason Day’s round was in stark contrast to Mickelson’s despite playing the same number of shots over the four days at Merion to finish in a tie for second place.

Day ground out his round with minimum fuss. Day’s chip-in on the 11th hole was for bogey and he made some fantastic par-saving putts on the final nine holes to give himself a genuine chance at claiming his first major victory.

Not content with posting a score for Rose to beat, Day attempted to hole his bunker shot on the final hole, and nearly did so before missing his par putt and making bogey at 18 for the fourth time.

“I hit a great bunker shot. Tried to go for the hole out and just went a little bit past, but hit a nice putt coming home.” Day said. “I didn’t expect it to hang out on the lip so much. And unfortunately just lipped out. But very happy with how I handled myself today.”

Day was one of the few golfers to avoid making a double-bogey at Merion this week and finished the week averaging 29 putts a round on greens described as quick as Augusta.

It marked Day’s third second-place and his fourth top-3 finish at the majors.

While there is a list as long as Merion’s par-3 third hole of golfers who should have won a major, Australia hasn’t has such a sure thing to win one in a few decades as Day.

At just 25-years-old, Day is featuring in major moments that many of his professional peers have never experienced. He’s readying himself nicely for a major break-through sooner than later.

“I’m still 25. I turn 26 at the end of the year. I’ve got plenty of Majors to play in and hopefully I can keep doing the same as I’m doing, and hopefully win one soon.” Day said. “I think that I have to stay positive within myself. But I’ve got to look at it both ways and say what did I do great this week and what do I need to improve.”

Australian golf fans went through a drought at the majors for much of the noughties as very few Australians (Geoff Ogilvy’s 2006 US Open victory aside) were featuring on the weekend let alone contending on Sunday.

It is a comforting thought to know that at the very least we now have two professional golfers in Jason Day and Adam Scott who we can count on to fight their way through a major and contend for the trophy more often than not.

It makes getting up on major Monday mornings much easier than it used to be.

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