Augusta - Jason Day is confident of his chances for a breakthrough first major
triumph at this week's Masters despite being sidelined for the past six
weeks by a left thumb injury.
The 26-year-old Australian said
Monday that his thumb has fully healed and his game is strong headed
into the first major of the season starting Thursday at Augusta
"It's fine," said Day, who won the World Golf Championships Match Play crown in February in his most recent start.
had a cortisone injection into it last Monday.
"Had about a week off
after the injection and everything has been progressing nicely.
"I'm taping it just as a precaution, so you'll see some tape on
my thumb and I've been icing it a lot.
"To be able to swing pain
free now is great. So I've been here since last Wednesday practicing and
"I've played 36 holes here over the last four days and the
hand's coming up nicely.
"I'm really looking forward to a nice, solid
Day defeated Frenchman Victor Dubuisson in 23 holes in the
Match Play final and was a co-runner-up at Torrey Pines in his first
event of the year.
While he has not played since those events, he
has been far from idle, honing his game with the Masters' winner's green
jacket as his goal after finishing third last year at Augusta.
week, you really need your short game, so I've just been shelling a lot
of chip shots and bunker shots and doing a lot of putting and speed
putting, because the short game is where you win tournaments, especially
this tournament," he said.
"The course sets up nice for me. I hit
the ball pretty long and I hit the ball pretty high.
"With how the
greens are, the undulation on the greens, the speed of the greens, you
definitely need to hit it a lot higher than lower."
Day, a US Open runner-up in 2011 and 2013, also shared second at the 2011 Masters.
know that I'm doing the right things that I need to do on the course
because I've had some good success in such a short career at the
Masters," Day said.
"So as long as I just keep doing the prep and
work hard, hopefully it will fall my way.
"I feel like I have a really
good game plan in place and I've just got to go out and do the work."
Day has been frustrated by the thumb setback because his game was rounding into top form when he was forced to sit out.
more frustrating for me because just coming off the WGC win at the
Match Play, I was playing some pretty good golf," Day said.
Day watched last year as Adam Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters, ending one of his dreams.
"I always wanted to be the first Australian to win it. Obviously Scotty got there first," Day said.
"But I'm happy to be the second."
Day, ranked fourth in the world, could dethrone Tiger Woods to become world number one with a Masters victory.
just not trying to think of that," Day said.
"My biggest thing is just
to really focus on myself. I just need to go out and not really think
about the outcomes that could possibly happen.
"That's what mental
toughness is, is to be able to stay in the present and really focus on
what you need to do to produce the result in the long run."