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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 162
IT’S always an absorbing discussion: who’s best, who’ll finish as the best when their careers end and who mastered which departments of the game. Lately there’s been a lot of talk about the largely media-inflicted three-pronged rivalry between Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day. It’s enlightening because in May, straight after he won the Players Championship in a furious final flurry, Rickie Fowler became the newly anointed third member. And he’s part of the conversation again after claiming the Deutsche Bank event, despite remaining winless at the majors. But Fowler’s standing is a discussion for another, well, day. Since almost claiming the Open Championship then winning the Canadian Open, US PGA Championship and The Barclays, Day has stamped his authority as the next contender to golf’s throne. But with all due respect to Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and others who have drawn close but not ascended to top spot on the Official World Golf Ranking, Day is better armed to actually sit there. There’s a discernible gap at the top now. The Ulsterman, the Texan and the Queenslander have won five of the past six majors and while not yet in the same stratosphere as Arnold, Jack and Gary, golf has its first ‘Big 3’ since Tiger, Phil and Ernie. Representing three nations, three continents and two hemispheres, McIlroy, Spieth and Day epitomise both the youth movement and globalisation of golf. We can only hope their collective reign is as long as that of King Louis XIV. Looking back on the majors for 2015, what’s most compelling for mine is just how easily the script could have been re- written on Sunday at the US Open. Upon reflection, it was the day on which this entire year hinged. Everyone remembers Dustin Johnson coughing up a chance to win and a secondary chance to go into a playoff with Spieth. But I’m more inclined to ponder just how different the outcome might have been at Chambers Bay had Day been healthy. Remember, despite suffering from vertigo, he climbed into a share of the lead with a round to play. Had he been healthy enough to break par that last round, it’s entirely possible we’d be talking about Day winning two majors in one season and not Spieth. Removing all national bias here, if these three players were shares and I had the chance to invest in them, I’d plunge most heavily on Day. OK, so Jordan has five years on Jason and Rory is two years Day’s junior but much like how school kids develop academically at different speeds, so too do golfers finding their place and their peak. Weaknesses are hard to disguise in professional golf and Day has few, if any. He’s a better putter than the streaky McIlroy and he drives it further than Spieth, a fact illustrated repeatedly in the final round at Whistling Straits. Jordan might be the superior putter but not by much, whereas Day’s power game laps Spieth’s. All three have interesting back stories but Day travelled the hardest road to get where he is, and one gets the impression that path has given him the resolve to go the distance – all the way to world No.1. OTG the VIEW STOCK RISING BY THE DAY WHY JASON DAY IS HOLDING ALL THE ACES IN GOLF’S NEXT ‘BIG THREE’. by Steve Keipert Golf Australia deputy editor Awarded #1 Overall Winner in the ‘2015 MyGolfSpy Most Wanted Driver Awards’ # 1 MOST WANTED DRIVER 2015 LEARN MORE
OTG Express 161
OTG Express 163