What they said: Jason Day

PGA Tour

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MARK STEVENS: We'd like to welcome Jason Day. Jason, you moved this week up to 88th in the FedExCup standings. Do you want to kind of talk about your thoughts coming into this week and what you have to do to get into next week?

JASON DAY:Yeah, obviously had a rough Sunday last week. I knew that I had to go out there and play well. I didn't know what score I had to shoot. I just knew that it was going to be a low one that I had to shoot. 5 under on the last day was really special.

Obviously getting back here, this is one of my favorite tournaments of the year, and it's just good to be in my spot right now. Obviously I've got to play well again to get into next week, but just got to take it day by day, I guess.

Q. If there's ever a place that you need to do well at, it's good to come to a place where you've been second and third the last two years?

JASON DAY:Yeah, definitely. I feel comfortable around here. Like I said, it's one of my favorite tournaments of the year. The people are great here, they always have been, and the course, they obviously made a change to 18, but the course sets up -- I feel like sets up really well for me, and like you said, I played well here in the past. I'm just looking forward to a good week.

Q. You're a confidence player, you like that sort of mental part of the game, so having that obviously is a big boost in itself, right, those memories, those feelings?

JASON DAY:Yeah, definitely, knowing that I had the opportunity to win this tournament twice over the last two years is obviously big, and hopefully I can get it done this year.

Q. What do you think of the new 18th green?

JASON DAY:It's interesting, very interesting. I've only talked to a couple of guys, but there's obviously mixed thoughts. If I was a new guy that this is my first year on TOUR and you've never played the course before, 18 would just look like a tough second shot hitting into that green.

They've made it very interesting on the left side. Obviously it's -- since it's new, it's obviously going to play a little harder, the ground is going to play a little firmer. So going for the green is going to be tough unless you hit it on the right obviously line.

If you have anything going left, it's going to go over the back to the left, and it'll depend how lucky you get with a lie and where the pin location is.

If you're looking at this side of the week, you'd be happy if you get two birdies on that par-5 for the week.

Q. If you do miss the green, how much creativity is it going to take to get it up-and-down?

JASON DAY:I mean, the slope on the left is pretty severe, so I was down there Monday when no one was on the course, so I got a little bit of time to spend on that green. I hit a few flop shots and hit a few chip arounds on the slope. It's a safer bet to hit the chip-and-run definitely going up that slope. I hit a few flop shots, actually really good flop shots that just had no chance at stopping near the pin if the pin is tucked anywhere left.

So there is going to be guys -- I think there's going to be a few guys laying up this week to that green, either that or hitting it way right into that bunker. I think that bunker is going to get a bit of a workout this week.

Q. How cognizant were you of where you stood last week and obviously how cognizant will you be this week in terms of your position?

JASON DAY:Right. I knew exactly what I needed to do on Sunday. Actually before the week started, I knew that if I could make the cut and finish decent, it would be a breeze to get through to this week. Obviously I made that very tough on myself Saturday, but it was nice to come out and play well on Sunday.

I know that if I put a good, solid finish here, as well, it's obviously going to get through to the BMW, as well. I'm not too sure on what the number is, but I know I'm -- I'm guessing a top 20 would do that, but obviously it's determined on what the other guys do, as well. But I think a top 20 should do it.

Q. Could I just find out how you play the back nine par-3s starting with the 11th hole, about 220 up the hill?

JASON DAY:You just get your longest iron out and try and hit it as hard as you can onto the green. That's pretty much how you play it. The normal wind comes off the left there, so you're looking at anywhere from a 4-iron to a 2-iron, or a 2-iron hybrid for most guys these days. You're trying to get it on the right level if you can. If not, just hit it to the middle of the green, take your two putts and walk away with par. If you go around that par-3 even par for the week, you're doing well.

16, there's some accessible pins there. It obviously depends on where you place your tee shot to certain pin locations. The back left pins you can use the slope and let it run down to the pin. Obviously you want to try and stay away from the water. The front right location you try and use the slope and let it come back down that slope, and then obviously there's a pin location on top of the tier there. If you can get it up there, that's a great shot. If not, then you're just putting up the hill.

Q. I'm wondering what is your mindset going into this Playoffs this year compared to last year? Are you more aggressive this year because you have to be? Are you playing with house money kind of?

JASON DAY:I have to stay aggressive out there. I need to get through to the next -- obviously my goal is to get to TOUR Champs. It hasn't been the best year for me, a couple injuries and the birth of my first child, so there's been a lot of distractions off course. The goal at the start of the Playoffs was to get to the TOUR Champs. It's the old clichés that sound dumb, but I've just got to take it week by week and day by day and see how it goes. Obviously I know that I have to stay aggressive and play well here to get through to next week.

Q. Do you think it's one of those things where you can play freer this year compared to like last year when you could just kind of maintain your position so to speak?

JASON DAY:I felt like I played a lot freer last year. This year there's a lot more pressure on the shoulders obviously to try and make next week because you don't want the Playoffs to finish so quick. And it's so great to be in the TOUR Champs. There's only 30 guys and you have the opportunity to win the FedExCup if you play well and win there.

Like I said, the goal is to get to TOUR Champs. There is a lot more pressure this year on myself to play well to get there. I've just got to go out there and just have fun.

Q. You mentioned that pressure or whatever, but wouldn't you say that potentially you play well under the gun, you're sort of that type of guy that likes to be thinking that way and likes that sort of thing?

JASON DAY:Yeah, I think when my back is against the wall, I feel like I play the best. And I know that I want it more, and for some reason that's just how I've always been.

Right now I'm pretty high on the FedExCup, but the good thing about the Playoffs is that if you play well, you can move a lot. That's what's so exciting about the Playoffs.

You know, being under pressure is -- you can look at it two ways. The way I look at it is I just want to -- like I said, I want to get to TOUR Champs, and there's a lot of pressure on myself, but I kind of like the feeling of having to try and catch up.

Q. I know that you're pretty safe now, but at any stage this year were you looking at your place on the Money List and thinking, holy crap, I don't have a card for next year?

JASON DAY:It was more about will I get enough events in this year because this is my 14th event for the year, so I haven't really played that much. I missed a lot of tournaments. It was in the back of my mind for a moment, but it was gone pretty quickly. I knew that I had to just keep playing, and once I felt comfortable playing again, because I played so rarely, that it was just a matter of time before I got it done.

Q. Just how difficult has it been to maintain your focus this year? Obviously you've had so many things off the course, and you seemed to change your hairstyle two or three times.

JASON DAY:It's been probably the hardest year in my golf career this year, just because of the distractions, the baby, the haircuts, as you say (smiling).

Obviously the years I've had the last two years have been really, really solid years, and sometimes you just lose focus and you lose -- and your priorities are someplace else. I feel like since Ellie had the baby, everything is fine at home, he's healthy, she's healthy, everything is going well off the course, that my priorities are starting to change and come back to golf now. I'm focusing a lot more now on golf obviously because it's the Playoffs.

But I just want to try and get through the TOUR Champs because I know I'm going to take three months off after this, the FedExCup Playoffs, and I just want to spend it with the family. I need to put that pressure on myself.

MARK STEVENS: Thanks a lot, Jason. Good luck this week.