Golf

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Tiger Woods texts advice to Jason Day as the Masters approaches

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Tiger Woods may currently be sitting a lowly 458th in the official World Golf rankings but he's probably forgotten more about the sport than most professionals will ever learn.

Last year's PGA Championship winner Jason Day has struck up an unlikely friendship with the man who dominated golf for almost two decades.

And this weekend it helped the Australian earn a hard-fought victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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Woods - who spent a total of 683 weeks at world number - texted advice to Day throughout the four-day tournament which the 28-year-old went on to win by one stroke.

Having won at Palmer's Bay Hill course an amazing eight times, Woods certainly knows what he's talking about.

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“One of the things he told me was ‘just be yourself and stay in your world' and another was ‘you know that you can do this and start your own legacy here'.

“It gives me so much confidence that a person like that would believe in me. He’s been a big influence in my life ever since I was a kid.

The crux of his advice was to find the perfect balance between patience and aggression - and Day did just that.

After holing a crucial 12-foot birdie putt on the 17th to tie for the lead, Day got up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the final hole to take the trophy alongside a cheque for over $1 million.

With the 80th Masters just over two weeks away, Day is joint-favourite with 22-year-old superstar Jordan Spieth and Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, in what is sure to be an intriguing showdown.

The Masters - Final Round

Last year's winner Spieth will hope to repeat the fantastic performance that saw him equal Woods' course record 18-under-par, shot back in 1997.

Woods' tumble down the rankings has been as well documented as his fall from grace when his wife chased him out of their house wielding one his own golf clubs.

But golf is a funny game. One day it could all click back into gear for the man who has 14 career major championships to his name.

Equally however, he could spend the rest of his career scratching around and missing cuts while being heckled by booze-fuelled spectators.

Obviously Woods still has a lot of love for the game. Otherwise, why would he go out of his way to mentor someone like Day?

He has no obligation to - at 40 he's rich enough to retire from the game and live perfectly happily.

But he probably feels his antics let the image of the sport down and has a burning desire to make amends to some degree.

Wyndham Championship - Final Round

Golf is a hugely psychological sport and if you're not feeling good about yourself it's unlikely you will perform to any high standard.

Perhaps Woods is still trying to heal his own wounds and finds solace in helping others achieve their potential.

What a story the PGA would have on its hands if Tiger manages to recapture a bit of the old magic back at the course where he won his first career major in 1997.

Realistically he'll be happy to make the cut at Augusta. But, if he gets back into his rhythm and takes some of his own advice, you just never know of what Woods is still capable.

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Topics:
Golf
Phil Mickleson
Tiger Woods
Rory McIlroy
The Open
US Masters
PGA Tour

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