That Time Tiger Asked Jason Day About His Chipping
When Tiger Woods wants to pick your brain about something, you listen.
Certainly, Jason Day was ready.
Day, who won the 2015 PGA Championship, got a note from Woods who at the time was going through chipping difficulties and wanted to talk to the Australian. But it was Day who said he likely learned more from Woods than the other way around.
“I actually probably learned more coming out of that little meeting with Tiger than he learned off me because back then I didn't really understand how he could feel every joint, every piece of his body move the way that he wanted it to,” Day said. “I'm like, ‘Man, I just have straight arms, and I just rock it through.’ You know what I mean?”
It was the first time Day was able to get Woods talking about the golf swing, and he bared witness to how much he had a deeper understanding of the motions needed to have consistent success. At the time Woods was working with Chris Como, and Day said there was something different about him as an instructor.
“He was the only guy I wanted to call to see if he could coach me,” Day said.
And now, if there was anyone that could appreciate what it took for Day to return from injury back to the winner’s circle on the PGA TOUR, it’s Woods.
It’s no surprise that Day, who won last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson, heard from Woods to congratulate him. The text message was heartfelt, while also full of salty language.
Day hadn’t won since 2018 on the PGA TOUR and had battled a myriad of things. He was trending in the right direction this season, however, with eight top-15 finishes in 15 events prior to his victory. He shot a 9-under 62 to close out the Texas triumph last week, and Woods was thrilled for his friend.
“It’s just a matter of things because we would text each other constantly about just trying to push each other. I would say that I wasn't relying heavily on Tiger, but […] kind of we're pushing each other to try and get back to where we need to be kind of thing,” Day said.
In the depths of Day’s struggles, he wondered if his career was ending because of where his body was and how he was feeling. His whole process became about not practicing on Monday or Tuesday, playing a pro-am on Wednesday then getting through Thursday and Friday to see if he made the cut.
“That's not really a winning formula, unfortunately. But that's kind of where I was mentally,” Day said. “I was not only struggling mentally but I was also struggling physically, and there was a lot of doubt in my mind to think that I would ever come back and be able to win again.”
Again, however, he points to Woods.
“We all look at like Tiger's 2019 win at Augusta, but that's Tiger, and he's a bit of a freak. For me personally, I thought it was going to be one of those things where I just had a great career, just ‘injuries got in the way and took him out of the game,’” said Day. “But for me to kind of reflect back on these last few years, knowing that it is about the journey and trying to get myself better, it's quite pleasing to know that I can still compete and play and win out here on the Tour.”
If he does it again, his friend Tiger Woods will be the first to say congratulations. And Day will be ready to offer up another chipping lesson – if Woods wants it.