Golf Australia

Day begins pitch for $10 million prize

Jason Day
Jason Day will start out sixth in New Jersey this week. Image: Getty

 

Jason Day’s pitch to become the first Australian winner of the US PGA Tour’s season-ending Fedex Cup reaches a climax over the next month, beginning with the Northern Trust Open in New Jersey  beginning tonight.

Day is ranked sixth on the points list headed by Justin Thomas, and is one of the favourites to win the $US10 million bonus pool in Atlanta next month.

The Australian has been close before; he was sixth in the standings in 2016, third in 2015 and also in the top 10 in 2014 but has never quite managed to close out the season at the Tour Championship.

He is one of four Aussies in the field at Ridgewood Country Club, the lowest number who reached the playoffs since the system began in 2007.

The others are Marc Leishman (ranked 22nd), Cameron Smith (53) and Adam Scott (73), who slipped into the field for this week with his good performance at the US PGA Championship.

Only the top 100 graduate to next week’s Dell Technologies Championship as the progressive cut kicks in. By the time they play the BMW Championship in Chicago only the top 70 will survive and 30 will tee it up at the Tour Championship in Atlanta from 30 September.

Each of the four playoff events has a $US9 million prize pool. In addition, there is the Fedex Cup bonus pool which is headed by a $US10 million payout to the winner. It is a cash bonanza for the best players; Marc Leishman picked up $US 952,000 in a single day in Atlanta last year despite not firing in the Tour Championship.

Justin Thomas won the Fedex Cup in 2017 and he is second in the standings again this year behind Dustin Johnson.

Day knows that to win the big prize he needs to stay in the game from the start.  “It’s crucial to play well this week and propel myself into the top five and then I control my own destiny,’’ he told AAP this week.

STANDINGS

1 Dustin Johnson

2 Justin Thomas

3 Brooks Koepka

4 Justin Rose

5 Bubba Watson

6 Jason Day

7 Webb Simpson

8 Francesco Molinari

9 Bryson DeChambeau

10 Patrick Reed


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