DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) Jason Day started the final round three shots behind the leaders and poised to crack the top 25 at the Memorial for the first time. In the end, though, it was more of the same in the Australian’s adopted hometown.
The No. 1-ranked player in the world had a double bogey and five bogeys in a 2-over 74 on Sunday that left him tied for 27th place at 9 under – six shots out of a playoff that William McGirt won over Jon Curran.
In seven previous appearances at Muirfield Village, a club where he happens to be a member, Day missed three cuts and never managed to finish above a tie for 27th place. The disappointing result Sunday came after decent rounds of 66 on Thursday and 68 on Saturday, with a 71 wedged in on Friday.
”Today was just all over the shop,” Day said. ”I just wasn’t that sharp out there, missing greens with wedges in the hand. I just wasn’t as sharp as I would have liked to have been, but it is what it is. … Hit it in the water twice. You just can’t do it when you’re trying to win a tournament.”
But if the 28-year-old Day is overly concerned about the stumble, he’s certainly not showing it. He’ll rest a couple days, then begin preparations for the U.S. Open in two weeks at Oakmont in Pennsylvania. He said his problems are small ones.
“I’ve just got to tidy a few things up with the long game,” said Day, who makes his home in suburban Columbus. ”It’s not that bad, because Thursday and Saturday I hit great. Off the tee was great, and to the greens was fantastic, Friday and today I just wasn’t sharp.”
Day said after the success of the past several months – he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play in March and was coming off a victory May 12 in the Players Championship – it’s easier to shake off a lousy outing and get back to work.
”Everyone was asking earlier this year why I wasn’t winning, and I just said it’s a process, and it’s the same thing (now),” Day said. ”I think if it doesn’t show up (at the U.S. Open), it’s going to show up somewhere else, and as long as I keep working hard it’s going to happen again. I just have to focus on getting the process right, and if I can do that maybe the U.S. Open will time perfectly and I can peak there and play well there.”
Day wasn’t the only player to stumble at the Memorial after coming off a tournament win.
Second-ranked Jordan Spieth, who picked up his eighth PGA Tour victory last week at the Colonial, barely made a peep at the Memorial, finishing in a tie for 57th at 3 under.
”Didn’t have my best stuff this week, but just didn’t make great decisions when I needed to give respect to the golf course,” Spieth said. ”And that’s something I’m going to have do at Oakmont. So I recognize that. We’re still running on momentum. Got to get some fresh legs and get ready to go.”