The No. 1 ranked player in the world, Jason Day, has been suffering from back issues since the WGC-Dell Match Play in March, and on the eighth hole of the second round at East Lake, Day decided he’d had enough. The Aussie picked up his ball and called it a day. This is the second straight tournament that Day has pulled out of.
Day won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the WGC-Dell Match Play, and the Players Championship. Day was one of the two guys favored to win Player of the Year, but after two withdrawals, it looks like Dustin Johnson’s locked that up.
Before the Tour Championship began, Day addressed his back issues:
Via ASAP Sports: “To be honest, I feel okay. I mean, it’s — it’s not the first time that it’s happened. I mean, if it was the first time, then I’d be like, Oh, I’m really kind of worried about it. So I put the tee in the ground at the BMW Championship, and my back went out. Last time it went out, I changed a diaper. So it’s nothing where I go and physically make a move at it during a swing and my back goes out. It literally is from the smallest things — picking up a pillow, picking up something off the ground, or just moving the wrong way.
I had a bulged disk in 2014. Through the exercise that I’ve been doing, that bulged disk, actually, with the MRIs I had in 2015 and 2016, last week as well, the bulged disk has actually come in, which is kind of a miracle because, actually, when you have that kind of symptoms, you’re thinking that it’s either going to stay the same or get worse. Fortunately for me, they’ve come back in; the disk has actually come back in.
Unfortunately, I’ve got an annulus tear in my disk, annulus tear of the ligament. So I re-tore it. I’ve torn it once before, and I’ve re-torn it again.
You know, just certain things just get in the way of me kind of going about my day usually, but it’s just like the exercises that I have to do, the small little things that are very annoying to make sure that my back doesn’t go out — I can tell you this much. I was on the road for three weeks. I wasn’t able to — because the FedEx Cup Playoffs, you’re trying to make sure you’re well rested. Three weeks in a row is very difficult trying to win the tournament, prepping and all that stuff. To be able to go to the gym and activate the muscles, it’s tough when you’ve got certain tee times and you’re trying to plan around.
I wasn’t able to go to the gym as much, missed a few massage sessions with my guy. Muscles turn off, and then my back goes out. But I learned from it. I’m going to try and get better.
But I feel good. I mean, the trust — I was practicing the last two days. I’m just trying to ease my way back into it, but the back isn’t an issue right now. It just happens. It’s like you’ve got to do the small exercises. It’s like brushing your teeth every morning. It’s that I like them. I just have to do them because it’s part of my daily routine now.”
Day will probably take quite a bit of time off to heal.