29 Mar 2016
Jason Day soaks up the vibe of the 16th at Augusta National in 2011.
Jason Day has revealed he came agonisingly close to quitting golf in 2011.
In a pre-recorded interview with David Feherty that aired on Monday night on Golf Channel in the United States, Day said only intervention by his "team" talked him around.
Even more remarkably, the then 23-year-old said the discussions were held on the eve of his Masters debut at a course and tournament he had always coveted.
"I felt like quitting the game before that week," Day told Feherty.
"I was having THE worst time on the golf course.
"I was going to quit the game and my team talked me into playing.
"I really wanted to quit the game. I was not going to play that week and just going to take time off."
As it turned out, the Masters became a great release for Day, who was one of eight players to hold or share the lead during one of the most storied closing rounds at Augusta National.
The Queenslander made twin birdies on 17 and 18 -- and four in the final seven holes -- to shoot a 68 and hold the clubhouse lead alongside countryman Adam Scott until Charl Schwartzel's record-setting four closing birdies won the green jacket.
That experience, along with his scintillating second-round 64, combined to make Day's first Augusta experience "fantastic" and help convince him to keep at it.
It's a far cry from the confident, exuberant Day has morphed into subsequently.
Day has won the WGC Match Play championship yesterday for back-to-back titles -- and, remarkably, his sixth win in his past 13 US PGA Tour starts.
He will return to Augusta next week as the world No.1 having that T2 and an outright third under his belt from 2013.
It is also the first major championship since he joined that illustrious list of heroes by winning the US PGA Championship last year.