Day fired up by rivals' success

DUBLIN (Ohio) • For Jason Day, the successes of Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy are fuel for his own competitive fire.

Golf's world No. 1 said on Tuesday that he has been energised by the recent wins recorded by the duo and is looking forward to facing them at the Memorial tournament, which starts today.

"I heard... that it bothered Jordan that I was winning tournaments and have the No. 1 spot in the world," said Day. "And it should. It should bother guys who are competitive and want to stay on top.

"I know I'm pushed that way as well when I see Rory or Jordan on top of the world."

The Australian will be competing for the first time since his wire-to-wire victory in the Players Championship on May 15.

During his well-deserved break, world No. 3 McIlroy ended a six-month title drought with a win at the Irish Open on May 22, while No. 2 Spieth shook off a Masters meltdown to win at the Colonial tournament on Sunday and edge closer to Day atop the world rankings.

Day, Spieth and McIlroy are among 30 of the world's top 50 players in the field, which also features No. 4 Bubba Watson, No. 5 Rickie Fowler and No. 8 Dustin Johnson.

Muirfield Village has not been particularly hospitable to Day, who called his record on a course where he has never finished in the top 10 "horrific".

It is especially disheartening since he is a member at Muirfield. "I typically play this course when I'm playing in a social round," he said. "I play it very aggressive."

Having decided to change that approach, and with his confidence still high in the wake of his win at TPC Sawgrass, he believes this is the year he could turn his Memorial fortunes around.

"I feel different this year," he said.

"And I'm hoping for a better result."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT
Day 1: StarHub Ch204, tomorrow, 3.30am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2016, with the headline 'Day fired up by rivals' success'. Print Edition | Subscribe