What next for Jason Day after regaining Match Play and world rankings top spot?
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | March 28, 2016
Australian sports fans may have been devastated when watching their cricket team crash out of the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 tournament in India, but on the other side of the world in the USA one of their own lifted one of golf’s top prizes.
Jason Day regained the prestigious WGC Dell Match Play knockout competition trophy after making light work of Louis Oosthuizen 5&4 in the final after defeating defending champion Rory McIlroy along the way.
In doing so, he also returned to the top of the world rankings, knocking Jordan Spieth, who lost in the last 16, off his perch.
Day is now the man to beat
Day’s triumph in Texas caps off a fantastic 12 months or so of winning seven titles since the Farmers Insurance Open in February 2015, including his first Major, the PGA Championship in August.
Aged just 28, the Queensland-born Australian has now overcome early fears he may follow the likes of Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia, as he finished second in three previous events of golf’s top four tournaments.
He has hit top form at just the right time, after claiming the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this month too, ahead of the 2016 Masters which start on April 7th, which he is now joint 13/2 favourite with McIlroy to win.
Title holder Spieth, who managed a record-equalling -18 final score at Augusta last year, will be determined to reclaim his number one spot, though, and is slightly longer at 7/1 due to a drop in form.
Will this be the year of Day?
Day hasn’t performed well at this event the last couple of editions, being tied-20th and tied-28th in 2014 and 2015 respectively, but can take heart in the fact that he’s finished tied-second and third here before.
Being the in-form player on tour right now, it seems it will take a lot to stop the determined Aussie, and Coral price him at an incredible 11/10 to win a Major this year and 12/1 to achieve the Career Grand Slam.
The US Open, The Open Championship and PGA Championship all take place in quick succession in June and July this summer, and Day is 10/1, 12/1 and 10/1 respectively to lift each of those trophies individually.
Following that in August is the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, where golf will take part for the first time since 1904. Will Day be just the third man to win Gold in the sport, after USA’s Charles Sands and Canadian George Lyon?