Golf: Day ready to meet challenge of Spieth, McIlroy

Jason Daywaves his golf ball during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship. Photo / Getty Images
Jason Daywaves his golf ball during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship. Photo / Getty Images

World No.1 Jason Day is ready to meet the recent challenge thrown down by Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy head on.

After emphatically winning the Players Championship three weeks ago Day has sat competitively idle while world No.3 McIlroy won the Irish Open and No.2 Spieth claimed the Colonial Invitational.

It sets up a tantalising event this week where the three headline Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village having all won in their last start.

Rather than be anxious or worried about the sharks circling in the water, Day instead embraced the situation as further motivation heading into the upcoming major summer.

"It's great to see how they've responded so quickly," Day said.

"I heard a couple of weeks ago that it bothered Jordan that I was winning tournaments and have the No.1 spot in the world, and it should.

"I hope it motivates them just as much as it motivates me to see other guys on top of the world and winning tournaments.

"Being on top is just as hard because you have to work harder than what you did climbing that mountain to try and stay on top. But I wouldn't have it any other way."

Day, who has won seven of his last 17 starts, has the advantage of being a member at Muirfield Village with his family home close by.

But while he plays the layout often, tournament conditions have proven difficult for him in the past.

In seven attempts in the tournament prior Day's scoring average is over par (72.68) and he's broken par just twice in his last 14 rounds, missing three cuts.

"I know this has been a tough tournament for me.

I think my best finish is tied for 27th (2009), which is horrific, and it's my home course, so that makes it even worse," Day said.

"But I'm looking to change that this week. I feel good about my game, and I feel good about the preparation going into this week."

Stuart Appleby, Aaron Baddeley, Steven Bowditch, John Senden, Matt Jones, Geoff Ogilvy, Marc Leishman, Ryan Ruffels and Nathan Holman join Day in a strong Australian contingent.

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