When Rory McIlory was asked about who else he thought could win the US Open other than himself he picked out some of the usual suspects.
He was quick to mention Masters champion Bubba Watson and current world number one Adam Scott, but then he brought up a player that has been somewhat quiet for most of the season so far.
Jason Day has spent most of his time recently recovering from a thumb injury that he aggravated during the last major event, The Masters, but is fully fit now and raring to go.
McIlroy certainly thinks Day will be competing at the right end of the leaderboard on Sunday too. He said that the Pinehurst course, which looks as if it will be a real test for the field when they tee off on Thursday, is perfectly suited to Day’s game.
The Australian will be hoping that McIlroy, one of the favourites to win the trophy at the end of the week, is correct in his prediction.
His lack of playing time may hamper him somewhat, though. Day has only been fit to play in seven tournaments this campaign, meaning he has very little momentum to carry into the year’s second major.
The 26-year-old has also only played in one tournament since April, where he finished in 37th position.
His form before his injury will give him some confidence, however. Day started the year as one of the form players on the tour – winning at the Accenture Matchplay in February and finishing in the top ten at two other events.
If he is able to recreate that sort of form he will surely be right in amongst the leading candidates to win at Pinehurst.
Day has finished as runner-up in the US Open twice before and will be hoping to go one better this week.
It will be extra-special for him because the fact the deciding tournament is on Father's Day brings up memories of his late dad.
“It was my dad who got me into golf when I was three,” he said to reporters for the PGA Tour.
“He found a golf club at the rubbish tip and he always knew that I wanted to bang a ball or do something with a ball.
“He always wanted me to one day be a professional golfer and play on the Tour and unfortunately my dad died when I was 12.
“You hear a lot of stories like that. He just got cancer and a few months later he passed away."
Day’s father would undoubtedly be very proud of his son now, as he bids to become the third Australian to win the US Open in the event's history.
David Graham and Geoff Ogilvy are the only two Aussies who have achieved the feat so far, meaning Day would join an elite list if he was to do so.
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