Former world number one and PGA Championship winner Jason Day is set to make an appearance at the Australian Open in Sydney at the end of the year.
Organisers have hinted that it will be one of the strongest fields the competition has seen in years. Around nine other Australian internationals are expected to take part alongside Day. Adam Scott and Marc Leishman are just two of the names that are currently in the mix.
The Australian Open is a warm-up event for the Presidents Cup, which takes place at Royal Melbourne Golf Club the following week. Day missed out on automatic selection for the competition following a spate of subpar performances during 2019.
The Queensland-born left-hander has battled severe back pain throughout the season and will need a captain’s pick from Ernie Els if he wants to compete in the Presidents Cup showpiece.
Huge Crowds Expected at Australian Open
Day’s inclusion in the lineup will be a huge boost for local fans and tournament organisers alike. Several of the top players, including current world number one Brooks Koepka, have opted to play in the Bahamas at Tiger Woods’ Hero World Challenge event.
Golf Australia’s chief executive Stephen Pitt had this to say: “A whole bunch of the Americans will be playing Tiger's event but, in a bit of a flip to last time, we're hoping to have a lot of the international team here. We hope to have around nine of the international team here so it will still be one of the strongest fields in years."
When quizzed about whether or not world number 15 and 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott would take part in the tournament, Pitt responded: “Adam’s not a lock yet, but talks have been promising.”
Australian Crowds Can Enhance Day’s Performance
Day is hoping that he can use the Australian Open as a springboard to improve his mediocre performances. Just two years ago in 2017, the former world number one found himself in a similar position. He wasn’t involved at the business end of tournaments, and his game looked sluggish.
However, he had a fantastic week in Sydney and managed to finish in 5th place, in line with what golf tipsters expected. Day used this as a platform to build on and won two US Tour events in 2018.
“There is something about playing our national open that gives me a lift. The Australian Open means a lot to me, and I really want that Stonehaven Cup in my trophy cabinet.”
Day who lives in Ohio with his wife and three children continued “My family will get to watch back home. I’m looking forward to coming back home to Australia.”
Organisers are also hoping that Japanese superstar Hideki Matsuyama will make his debut in the competition. If Stephen Pitt (CEO of Golf Australia) can secure his services, alongside several other reputable names, the tournament is set to be a hit success.
Mexico’s Abraham Ancer was crowned champion last time out and picked up a cheque for 225,000 AUD in the process.