Jason Day will not travel to Australia this summer as previously planned to continue in injury rehabilitation.
The Australian Open has lost one of its biggest drawcards, with world No.8 Jason Day confirming he will miss the prestigious tournament in Sydney.
Day has been advised to spend the next few months rebuilding the strength in his back and core to ensure the greatest chance of an injury-free 2015, leaving him little choice other than to pull the pin on his national open.
While his rehab should be close to complete by the November 27-30 tournament at The Australian Golf Club, Day’s medical team believe the long flight time from Ohio to Sydney is ill advised for his back.
“I’m disappointed I can’t make the trip home for what I’m sure will be a great tournament but I have to give myself the best chance for an injury free 2015,” Day told AAP.
“I hope to be able to make up for it in the future and try to add the national championship to my trophy case.”
Tournament organisers were naturally disappointed but understanding of the Queenslanders’ plight.
“It’s totally understandable that Jason needs to attend to his physical health at the end of a long season when he’s struggled with injuries,” Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt said.
“We would have loved Jason to play at the Open again but it’s not possible. We think that it’s in Australian golf’s longer-term interests that he gets back to full fitness for 2015 and hopefully wins a couple of majors as well.
“In the meantime we still have an excellent field for the Open with the No.1 (Rory McIlroy) and No.2 (Adam Scott) ranked players in the world committed to playing.”
Day’s 2014 was punctuated by injury and illness allowing just 15 starts on the US Tour, including two mid-tournament withdrawals.
He struggled with a thumb injury for most of the year and also battled strep throat and vertigo before finishing his year with a bulging disc in his back.
Despite this the 26-year-old won early in the year and added a couple of second place finishes with a total of six top 10s in his 15 starts.
While his results were admirable, they weren’t enough for Day’s appetite who is itching to be fully fit to prove himself worthy of world No.1.
With a handful of tournaments getting away from him in the final round, Day is motivated to get back to his best and show he’s ready to win and win often.
“I’m just trying to get healthy. I just want a healthy year where I can practise hard and get ready for tournaments and try and play the best I can without worrying about injuries in the back of my mind,” Day said after the season-ending Tour Championship.
“I’m very encouraged with how I played this year with just 15 starts but I’m very motivated to get better for next season and really try and get to that No.1 spot in the world.
“I feel like I’ve got the tools to get there. I just need to make sure that the body is right for me to win a lot more and achieve that goal.
“This off-season is very crucial for me just to make sure that the back, the thumb and my hips are all progressing the way I want them to be.”