Emotional Jason Day breaks five-year PGA Tour drought with Mother’s Day victory

Australian golf star Jason Day has broken a five-year PGA Tour title drought with an emotion-charged Mother’s Day victory at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship in Texas.

A year after losing his mum Dening to cancer and tumbling outside the top 100, Day denied Scottie Scheffler the chance to return to world No 1 in a tense Sunday shootout at TPC Craig Ranch.

Day fired a brilliant bogey-free final-round nine-under-par 62 to secure a steely one-shot win over Si Woo Kim (63) and American Austin Ekroat (65). Kim’s countryman CT Pan (62) was fourth at 21 under, with Scheffler (65) ultimately finishing fifth three shots back after being unable to stay with Day down the stretch.

Kim birdied the last to briefly join Day atop the leaderboard but the Queenslander held his nerve to respond and deliver his wife Ellie – greenside and heavily pregnant with the couple’s fifth child – her own priceless Mother’s Day gift.

In a poignant tribute, Day’s caddy sported a bib with his mother’s birth name “Adenil” and the inspired former world No 1 honoured her memory in style with his first tournament win since the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open.

“This was the first one [Mother’s Day] kind of without her so to have her on my caddy bib was special,” Day said. “And then obviously Ellie, the amount of sacrifices she’s made for me and my career, I just can’t thank her enough.”

In a huge confidence booster ahead of next week’s US PGA Championship, the season’s second major in New York, Day finished at 23 under and had only three bogeys for the week.

Fittingly, the 35-year-old ended his barren run at the same tournament where he clinched his maiden PGA Tour win in 2010. But his 13th triumph is even more special and completes Day’s tumultuous journey back from heartache and despair.

He was languishing at 175th in the world last September before rebuilding his swing to combat the debilitating back injury that threatened to prematurely end a once-great career.

But the 2016 PGA Championship winner’s resilience is now paying off, with Day among the hottest players on the planet once more. He posted six top-10 finishes this year and eight consecutive top-20s before an untimely bout of vertigo cruelled his Masters’ chances.

As well as the trophy, the 35-year-old pocketed a cheque for $US1.7m ($A2.6m) after snapping his 1835-day title drought.

“It’s been a struggling few years so to be able to get the win the way I played today was really special,” Day said.

“I’ve had a lot of injuries with my back and for a moment there I thought I wasn’t going to play again and then just trying to get through those two years and just trying to get through a tournament was difficult.

“So to be on the other side of it, being healthy, feeling good about my game, finally winning again, there’s no better feeling really.”


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