JASON Day was easily the best player across all four majors in 2016. So how did he not win any of them?
In the weeks following the final major of the year, it's remarkable to think that Jason Day entered all four majors as the world's number one golfer, blitzed everyone with his four major tournament total but didn't win a single Grand Slam event.
After his emphatic, breakthrough major victory at Whistling Straits last year, and winning six from 13 tournaments to rise to the top of the world golf rankings in the process, golf fans were expecting at least one major trophy for Jason Day in 2016.
Day finished in a tie for 10th place at The Masters, a tie for 8th at the US Open, a tie for 22nd at The Open Championship and finally a second-place finish at Baltusrol a few weeks ago.
JASON DAY EXCITED TO BE COMING HOME IN 2016:
That finish included that incredible 72nd hole 2-iron that almost got him into a playoff with eventual winner Jimmy Walker.
Had Day gone on to win, there may have been a new plaque inserted into the 18th fairway at Baltusrol.
Few golfers use a 2-iron these days let alone strike one as purely as that to win - I mean almost win - a major.
If you combine all of the scores for all of the players who played in all four majors in 2016, Jason Day takes the honours by a long way.
Day's 9-under par total across the majors was 12 strokes better than his nearest rival, Jordan Spieth, who he finished second to in the same (but ultimately unrewarding) category last year.
So how did Day not win a major this year? Day spent most of the week at Augusta on antibiotics in an attempt to thwart a head-cold.
The opening round at The Masters was all going swimmingly until four dropped shots at 16 and 17 sent him back to even-par and six shots behind first round leader Spieth.
Eventually Day finished six shots behind Danny Willett but never quite found his groove again after the opening 15 holes.
At the US Open two months later, Day was slow out of the blocks at Oakmont.
He fired a 6-over 76 and looked like he had a fight on his hands just to make the cut but Day isn’t one to go down without a fight.
While he never quite got within striking distance of Dustin Johnson, his following three rounds were superb and remarkably he finished just six shots back in 8th place.
Although getting on the wrong side of the draw, Day's wayward driver dictated his poor scoring at The Open and resulted in his worst finish in a major for the year.
our shot of the week is one with a difference:
But the World Number One appeared to straighten it out at the Canadian Open and looked primed to defend the Wanamaker Trophy at Baltusrol.
But preparations weren’t ideal. After a self-imposed rest day to begin the week, Day's wife had a health scare the night before his first practice round that turned out to be his first and only look at the golf course before the tournament began.
If anything, though, the lack of preparation (and sleep) had the opposite effect on Day.
The driver was back to its piercing best and the birdies started flowing once his putter got hot on Friday.
Only two players finished the US PGA Championship with four sub-60 rounds: Jimmy Walker and Jason Day.
The pair produced a remarkable duel on the final day, Jimmy Walker's putt on the 17th, and Jason Day's 2-iron to the 18th green saving what was largely an uneventful and rain-sodden major.
It says something about Day’s determination that he seems to thrive under adversity and is arguably the most tenacious Australian golfer in recent history.
These fighting qualities and his rise to the top of world golf has brought with it huge expectations not just from golf fans, but from himself.
Day has publicly stated he has struggled with the pressure in 2016 but despite battling swing issues and a few bumps in the road at the majors, Day was constantly high on the leaderboards and very nearly grabbed his second major at Baltusrol.
You get the sense that if things go smoothly in 2017 Jason Day will be a multiple major winner this time next year.
A YOUNG JASON DAY TALKS ABOUT HIS GOLF DREAMS:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael Green founded AussieGolfer.com.au - Australia's #1 golf blog - in 2007, is a member of The Australian Golf Writers Association and has covered some of Australia's biggest golf tournaments, including the Australian Open, the Presidents Cup and World Cup of Golf.
Michael began playing golf as a 10-year-old in Adelaide where his father introduced him to the game.
He has managed to maintain a single-figure handicap while studying, living and working abroad and keeping a close eye on his three children.
Michael has a PhD in Physics and when not writing about golf, he continues to work in medical research in Sydney.
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