Day filthy to mess up nemesis Masters hole

Ben Everill
·2-min read

Jason Day was filthy at himself. And on his birthday no less.

The former world No.1 was in the midst of a back-nine blitz in the opening round of the Masters at Augusta National when he made a critical error. One he swore before the tournament he wouldn't make.

Day was reviving his title hopes that appeared on life support after he sat two over through the first seven holes, celebrating his 33rd birthday by reeling off five birdies in seven holes as he came to the par-5 15th.

The infamous hole was the killer for Day during the third round of last year's Masters where he went for an aggressive play thinking about a possible eagle instead of playing safer for a regulation birdie.

On that occasion, Day found the water and made double bogey, falling further back from a pack he had led after 36 holes.

He would make a Sunday charge but ultimately end up two shots shy of Tiger Woods, who won a fifth Masters title, prompting Day to vow he would not make the same mental errors again.

"I learned a lot from that. Sometimes you don't need to make the aggressive play," he said pre-tournament while describing how he should've played over the pin rather than trying to find the small space between the water and the hole.

But on Thursday, after a crunching drive, Day sat 218 yards out in the middle of the fairway and had eagle on his mind once again.

With earlier rain softening the greens, Day backed himself to be able to stick the approach this time around.

Instead he watched in horror as once again he came up short and sent his ball to a watery grave.

Day almost saved face with a long-range par putt but ultimately made bogey and settled for a two-under 70. It left him tied 21st, five shots back of early leader Paul Casey (65) with only half the field through the opening round.

"Unfortunately, that was just a mental error," an annoyed Day said. "Unfortunately, took that gamble. Sometimes it just doesn't work out. I should have learned that from last year, especially with the soft conditions.

"Just knock it over the back and you chip down the green.

"That was a little bit disappointing. But you've just got to forget about it and push on."

Day was happy to have turned his poor start around but was still frustrated to have missed three putts inside 10-feet which he felt he should have drained that would have had him threatening the lead.