Golf

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Jason Day's recent form reminiscent of Tiger Woods at his peak

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Jason Day won his second event in as many weeks as he blasted through the field to claim the WGC Dell Matchplay title on Sunday.

Day beat Louis Oosthuizen 5&4 in the final after overcoming world number three Rory McIlroy earlier in the day at Austin Country Club, Texas. A supreme display of ball striking from the tee and sublime touch on and around the greens rendered his opponents helpless throughout the week.

It is not often you find a man with such a feel around the greens that can also bomb the ball 320 yards plus off the tee. This was Day's second consecutive victory after he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational two weekends ago at Bay Hill. It was also his sixth win in his last 13 starts on the tour, a quite remarkable stretch of dominance that included no less than 12 top 25 finishes.

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Day has so few holes in his game and his win percentage over the past year is starting to resemble that of a certain Tiger Woods at the height of his hegemony over world golf during the 2000's. His short game has improved enormously in recent times and his ability to hole out from the cuts just off the putting surface is unrivalled in today's game.

Tee to green there are few better, Day drives the ball long and usually very straight while his iron play is excellent. Jordan Spieth and Chris Kirk may be better outright putters but Day is not far behind and once he gets hot, he finds a way to hole out from all kinds of areas. His pitching and chipping is highlighted by his lack of wrist movement which is unusual but allows him to play a variety of different escape shots with great effect.

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In the past, his scrambling ability and missed putts are what have kept him from ascending to the top of world golf but he has worked immeasurably hard at these aspects of his game and right now there is no better player on the planet. His maiden major victory at the PGA Championship last year has only increased his confidence and you can see he has that proud swaggering walk about him now. Once he gets a grip on a lead, he is very hard to beat.

It's too early to say he has an aura like Tiger about him but there is certainly a resemblance in how they both own their space on the golf course when they are at their best. Even more encouragingly for Day was his win at Bay Hill, which came when he perhaps didn't play his best golf but found a way to get over the line and that's what the greats of the game do.

World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play - Final Round

He beat some big names in Austin this past week and will be the man to beat at next week's Masters at Augusta National, where he has twice finished in the top five. It is a course he loves and he is hungry to win his first green jacket. The way he has been playing of late, he will be in contention come Sunday.

If Day can continue in this fine manner he could become the next dominant force in world golf and one would be surprised if this man doesn't win a lot more major championships in the years ahead.

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Topics:
US Masters
Tiger Woods
Golf
Rory McIlroy

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