Day 'running on empty' in PGA defence

(Left) Defending champion Jason Day during a practice round before the PGA Championship, the final Major of the year. The world No. 1 called paramedics after his wife Ellie (above) suffered a violent allergic reaction and had to be taken to an accide
(Above) Defending champion Jason Day during a practice round before the PGA Championship, the final Major of the year. The world No. 1 called paramedics after his wife Ellie suffered a violent allergic reaction and had to be taken to an accident and emergency ward.PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
(Left) Defending champion Jason Day during a practice round before the PGA Championship, the final Major of the year. The world No. 1 called paramedics after his wife Ellie (above) suffered a violent allergic reaction and had to be taken to an accide
Defending champion Jason Day during a practice round before the PGA Championship, the final Major of the year. The world No. 1 called paramedics after his wife Ellie (above) suffered a violent allergic reaction and had to be taken to an accident and emergency ward.PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SPRINGFIELD (New Jersey) • Should he successfully defend the US PGA Championship, Jason Day will not so much have raised questions about the concept of ideal preparation as having completely trashed the notion instead.

The Australian has a curious habit of arriving at Majors when suffering from various ailments.

But this time, it was not the world No. 1 himself who encountered pre-tournament problems.

He left an accident and emergency ward in New Jersey at 2am on Wednesday, a day before the tournament started, his wife Ellie having suffered a violent allergic reaction - the cause is unknown - resulting in a full body rash.

"I'm kind of running on empty right now," said Day. "She's fine. Everything was great but I had to call the paramedics over.

" I've been in that situation before when I first ate seafood. That's why I don't eat seafood any more, I started swelling up."

The incident led to the golfer, who won his first Major at Whistling Straits last August, having his first look at the venue for the final Major of the year on Wednesday, when he played 18 holes of practice.

This does not exactly register as standard build-up for a player of the Australian's standing.

"I haven't seen the course, I don't know what it looks like," said Day on Wednesday morning. "I was with Doug Steffen, the head pro here, last night at the champions' dinner. I went through pretty much every hole with him for about 20, 30 minutes.

"I'm going to try and touch them all today but obviously the prep's been a little on the lighter side. I need to come in and try to get a good, solid 18 holes in today so I kind of know where I'm going."

The reason behind his approach is, of course, simple - scheduling. The 28-year-old has endured a more monotonous time than most, having played the Open and the Canadian Open in the fortnight leading up to the US PGA.

How Day will relish an upcoming break. First, though, he wants to win his first Major of this year.

"With the limited practice and limited prep that I've had this week, I'm not coming into this week expecting a lot," he said."I mean, I'm expecting to win but I'm not really going: 'All right, you need to go out and force things straightaway.'

"I've got to really try and manage my patience (and) my ego in a sense, to sometimes pull back or when I do feel comfortable be able to attack it, know that there's consequence and knowing exactly where I need to miss it."

Baltusrol could easily be overpowered. That lends itself to a Day, Dustin Johnson or Rory McIlroy victory. Big-hitting outsiders such as Gary Woodland are also not without a chance.

History tells us Henrik Stenson deals in seriously hot streaks, meaning the Open champion has live prospects.

Another quirk is the claiming of the last four Majors by first-time winners. This should give the likes of Sergio Garcia renewed hope.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

Day 2: Singtel TV Ch114 & StarHub Ch208, tomorrow, 1am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2016, with the headline 'Day 'running on empty' in PGA defence'. Print Edition | Subscribe