For Jason Day, a career that includes 12 wins on the PGA Tour, a major championship and 51 weeks atop the World Golf Rankings has been underwhelming to this point.
At 31 years of age, Day is mixing things up this week at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by employing Tiger Woods’ former caddie, Steve Williams, in hopes of getting more out of his talent.
“Severely underachieved, I think,” Day said of his career to now. “And granted, I have to work on a few things, mentally and physically, with regards to my golf game. But I think I’ve underachieved up until now. I feel like I’ve got a game that when it’s on, I can win most tournaments. And the big thing for me is to go ahead and believe that and have trust in my abilities that I can do that. And now that I have Steve on the bag, I think hopefully that will flourish and I can make winning more of a habit.
“I know that I can do it. All you have to do is look at 2015, 2016, even last year, not just have a (single-win season). I know that I can have multiple wins in one year and I can get things going. So I just have to get that desire back into my game and keep working hard. I think as long as I keep doing that, then having Steve on the bag is going to be the right choice.”
Asked if that meant Williams was a part of his long-term plans and bringing him on full-time, Day said he was.
Asked why he opted to replace his friend and caddie Luke Reardon with Williams, Day said it wasn’t a snap judgment to chase his second major this week, but to begin the process of getting back to a place in the game he feels he belongs.
“I would like to win more than just two majors, you know what I mean?” Day said. “I’ve currently got one now. I’m not trying to expedite it because I know that it’s going to take some time. If it happens this week, great. But I’m not fully expecting it. I’m going in thinking this is a good week to get started.
“But also on top of it, I’m here to try and win. But I know that how we’re going to work together, it will slowly evolve over time, and we’ll become a lot more efficient. And I know that if I have someone on the bag like Steve, I think in certain situations, when it comes down to the crunch, especially either Sundays or even Saturdays, or even Thursdays or Fridays, depending on the certain situation, he’ll be able to calm me down.
“Just the experience has; I think he’s won like 15 majors or something like that and 150 events. That’s a lot of tournament wins and a lot of experience under the belt.”
Day begins his quest for a second major on Thursday at 11:02 a.m. ET off the first tee alongside Rickie Fowler and Si Woo Kim.