Sunday Notebook: Jason Day says goodbye to No. 1 rank, for now
By Steve Hummer
ATLANTA – Jason Day's reign as the No. 1 player in the world will be briefer than the lifespan of a Tweet. It had the shelf life of a salmon filet.
One week ago, Day was celebrating his ascension for the first time to the top of the world rankings. On Monday, he must give it back to Tour Championship winner Jordan Spieth.
Sense a trend here? This will be the sixth consecutive week the top ranking has changed hands between three players – Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Day. That has never happened before.
And figuring the top spot is likely to be passed around several more times before the three 20-something players go off to assisted living, Day was philosophical after his disappointing run at East Lake.
"Everyone thinks that (losing the top ranking) is going to be a massive low. It's good to be No. 1, but it never changed me anyway, the way that I was as a person, the way that I worked.
"It's not a letdown at all, actually. It's more of a motivation to really understand what I need to do to get to that No. 1 spot, how hard I need to work for next year to keep that.
"I want to be more of a dominant player and I want to be at the top of the world ranking list for a long, long time. I know how hard I had to work this year, so I got to work extra hard next year."
PRESIDENTS CUP SNEAK PEEK: One half of the Tour Championship field will be travelling to Korea for the Presidents Cup – the U.S. vs. the non-European world – Oct. 8-11. How ready is the America team? Three of the top seven finishers, including champion Jordan Spieth, are on the U.S. squad. One of the top nine, Danny Lee (who finished tied for second), will represent the internationals.
In all, the nine Tour Championship players on the U.S. team finished a cumulative 1 over, 5 under Sunday. They were dragged down mightily by the son of the Presidents Cup captain, Bill Haas (13 over) and Patrick Reed (14 over). The five internationals were a combined 3 under for the tournament, 8 under Sunday.
BIRDIES PAY OFF BIG TIME: When all the birdies from this Tour Championship were counted – 368 – the East Lake Foundation was $382,700 richer. A pledge of $1,000 per birdie by Foundation board member Alex Robertson and his wife made up the bulk of the donation, with the rest contributed by players Charley Hoffman, J.B. Holmes and Brandt Snedeker. They chipped in 39 birdies to the cause...The only hiccup to Spieth's march to the Tour Championship? He and partner Henrik Stenson were put on the clock for slow play on holes 12 and 13...It's a pretty simple formula: The rain stops and the scores fall. Sunday the field took the scoring average back below par (69.393)...Length does matter. The 530-yard par-4 fifth hole finished as the most difficult of them all at East Lake, playing at .36 of a stroke over par.
This article was written by Steve Hummer from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.