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Jay Busbee

Jason Day camps out in Paul Casey's head, trashes the place

Jay Busbee
Devil Ball Golf

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Match play is a different animal than stroke play. Surrendering even a couple holes can put you at risk of going home on Wednesday, as a few notable names can tell you. And as at least one less-notable name can tell you, getting in someone's head early in match play can pay off huge.

On Thursday, Jason Day knocked off two-time Accenture runner-up Paul Casey, and he did so by playing mind games that had Casey fuming.

Every golf game has the potential for mind games. Standing too close to your opponent while he putts, conceding putts early but not late, walking off the green and taking your gallery with you before your opponent's done (what, you don't have a gallery with you at all times?) ... all are time-honored methods of knocking your opponent off his mental game.

Day worked his Jedi mind trick to perfection on Casey on the 13th hole when he refused to concede an 18-inch putt to Casey. "I knew he was going to hole it," he said in the press conference afterward. "But it's not about that hole, it's about the future holes coming on. So if I can make him a little angry, if I can, you know, get him out of his game plan and force him to make silly decisions out there, you know, that's obviously part of the mind games that you play."

Another trick? Walking ahead of your opponent. But as Day noted, Casey walks quickly, so that didn't quite work. Ah, well ... the result was the same.

Next in Day's sights: JB Holmes. We'll see how well he can do knowing what's coming.

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