Prior to the 2017 Masters, it was Dustin Johnson who was the victim of a bizarre injury that doomed his hopes to slip on a green jacket. This year, it was Jason Day who may have seen his major hopes vanish as a result of a freak injury.
Prior to Day’s 1:38 p.m. tee time — a pairing in which he was ironically playing alongside DJ — the 2015 PGA Champion aggravated his notoriously fragile back saying goodbye to his family on the practice putting green.
After making a bogey on the first hole, Day received treatment on the second hole, lying on his back and stretching with the help of Canadian chiropractor Dr. Stuart Love.
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Day’s management team corrected earlier reports that the injury came from picking up his daughter, saying instead the flare-up was the result of Day bending over to give his daughter a kiss.
Walking gingerly and at times having trouble getting his ball out of the cup, Day cobbled together a round of 2-under par 70, bookending his round with bogeys on the first and 18th holes, but sprinkling in three birdies in the middle.
“Part of me thinks that that’s nothing new,’’ fellow Australian Adam Scott told The New York Post. “He knows what to do. He seems to have a bad back all the time and plays great. So I’m sure he knows what he’s doing. Hopefully, it’s nothing major and he gets through and then he can play the rest of the week.’’
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Day is not certain to continue his quest for the green jacket, but those close to him believe he will give it another go on Friday.
Day recently withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March citing an annular tear in a disc in his back. He was able to play in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship after receiving cortisone shots in his back, but representatives and Day himself said prior to the start of the week that he wasn’t back to 100%.
“If (my back) starts to hurt I’ll have to tough it out,” Day said earlier in the week.
The former World No. 1 is scheduled to tee off on Friday at 10:42 a.m.