Jason Day started the month of July with a dizzying and debilitating case of vertigo. He finished it not only in control of his own senses, but also in charge of professional golf. That's why the 27-year-old Australian phenom is our Golfer of the Month for July.
When Day's 22-foot birdie putt tracked into the 18th hole of Sunday's final round of the RBC Canadian Open, he claimed his fourth career victory and completed one of the most incredible one-month comebacks in the history of the sport. What's more, Day's hectic July, which saw him make two trans-Atlantic journeys, was almost a whole lot better.
Rewind six weeks to a frightening scene at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington, where Day was moving up the leader board on moving day before falling to turf on the ninth hole. Day miraculously completed his round and shot 2 under 68 despite a recurring bout with benign positional vertigo, which causes severe dizziness, blurred vision and headaches. Despite the crippling symptoms, Day closed with a 74 and a ninth-place tie at the major tournament.
Day was forced to withdraw from a pair of PGA Tour events and spent the month leading up to the British Open trying to recover and refocus. He was back to his old form and tricks at St. Andrews, Scotland. After a bogey-free final round, it all came down to a 25-foot putt on the 72nd hole that could have put Day in a share for the lead and turned the three-man playoff into a foursome. Instead, he left it just short and settled for fourth place – the eighth top-10 finish in a major in his young career but still no major championship.
“I’ve been working very hard to try and accomplish my first major, and it’s a little frustrating with how it finished,” Day said after the British Open. “But I’ve been in contention at major championships a lot now, and it just shows I’m doing the right things and I can’t look at it as a negative.”
Day took that positive attitude with him for the flight back to North American and the Canadian Open, and he mounted another late surge that put him in contention for the national title. With the crowd openly cheering for third-round leader and native son David Hearn, and with major winner Bubba Watson making a hard charge, Day calmly closed his final round with three consecutive birdies to claim the crown. Like the British Open, Day had another long putt to seal the deal, and this time he delivered with a 22-footer for a 68 and a total of 17-under 271 at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario.
“The first thing I said was, I've got to get the ball to the hole this time,' ” Day said of his critical birdie putt. “For it come after what happened last week, and to be able to hit that putt, I'm just over the moon right now.”
And with Day's roller-coaster month in the bag, the sky is the limit for the rising star. Not only is his golf game and confidence getting better and better with each conquest, Day’s personal life seems like something from a fairy tale. He and wife, Ellie, were celebrating the victory with first-born son Dash, who is already a popular star after captivating TV cameras at recent tournaments. Their second child is due on Nov. 12, Day’s 28th birthday. It seems even happier days are still ahead for Day.