RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Jason Day only watched one hole of golf from the Olympics, but at least he picked the right hole.
Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson were never separated by more than a shot in the final round until Rose made birdie on the 18th hole to win the gold medal, with Matt Kuchar making a late run for 63 and the bronze.
“I didn’t watch any, not one shot, until the last hole,” Day said Monday evening in a conference call. “It was great to see Henrik and Justin duel it out. Kuch had an amazing run on the last day, and it looked like it was a very successful opening for golf to be back in the Olympics.
“Exciting stuff for those guys, and I’m sure they’re on Cloud 9 right now heading home.”
Day is the No. 1 player in the world, and among the top four who chose not to go to Rio. He at least will get one chance to play for his country this year. The Australian spoke Monday evening to promote the World Cup of Golf, to be played Nov. 24-27 at Kingston Heath in Melbourne. He and Adam Scott will be back to defend their title from 2013 at Royal Melbourne.
In some respects, it can help fill the void of missing out on playing for his flag.
And there is part of him that is eager to see what kind of reception he gets.
Day has not been back to Australia since he and Scott won the World Cup. Scott was a national hero in 2013 as the Masters champion, the first Australian in a green jacket. Day recalls waiting on a cab outside the Crown Casino when Scott walked by with his green jacket.
“All the cool things he got to do, go places and have certain dinners and celebrations in his name, the awards that he got, especially during the late part of the year for how well he played, it was pretty special to see,” Day said.
He returns as No. 1 in the world, the first Aussie to play at home as the world No. 1 since Greg Norman in 1997.
“Being an Australian that’s been No. 1 in the world back home playing in Australia, that’s a pretty cool moment to have,” Day said.