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Friday, 4 September 2015

A New Day is Dawning

A new day seems to be dawning in golf--no pun intended.  We now seem to have three players who are looking to separate themselves from the pack and possibly become greats of the game.  If they can stay healthy, and maintain their spectacular play, we just may be entering a new and exciting era where we have another "Big Three."  

Jason Day with his phenomenal play of late is suddenly the man of the moment.  It seems we've already forgotten Spieth's incredible season in favour of Day.  We are rightly impressed with Jason Day, who once again sits atop the leaderboard at the Deutsche Bank.  His win in Canada, followed by the PGA championship and then the win last week, where Spieth missed the cut, certainly makes Day the hot commodity right now. 

But things are moving quickly in the golf world.  The Official World Golf Rankings, as strange or difficult as they might be to understand, now just might have Day as the new number one player if he continues to have a good run to the FedEx cup and Spieth and McIlroy don't produce something special themselves.  Right now the rankings are so tight that it's all about what have you done for me today, not what have you done this year, or the past two years.  I'm sure Jordan is shaking his head, to think that all that hard work, and fantastic play, earned him the number one spot for but a moment, and that he is going to be hard-pressed to wrestle it back.

You have to be impressed with Jason Day.  Even Jordan Spieth had to admit that Day is now the best player in the game.  He now presents as the complete package, with power, finesse, and putting.  Spieth, on the other hand, is an enigma; lacking the ability to overpower a golf course, he isn't spectacular in any area of the game other than his uncanny ability to get the ball in the hole, which is the whole point of the game.  Rory has it all, but I find myself wondering whether he still has the desire the other two have, and his putter seems to run hot and cold.

These are definitely interesting times.  Having a Big Three might be very good for golf.  We like rivalries.  When talking about these three young guns, I think it will all come down to their ability to avoid injury and maintain the desire and work ethic it will require to stay ahead of the pack.  Both Day and McIlroy have swings that I find myself wondering about.  They are young man's swings.  Whether they can stay fit and healthy enough to keep swinging like that remains to be seen.  I'm reminded of Harvey Penick's view of modern swings; swings that he didn't think were built to last.  As for Spieth, he has a swing that will likely stand the test of time; provided he doesn't mess with it trying to get a few extra yards.

When Day and McIlroy are on their game, Spieth is at a distinct disadvantage.  He is missing that extra gear that both McIlroy and Day possess.  He can't hit 362 yard drives and follow them up with 191 yard nine irons to the par fives like Day did to pretty much seal the deal at the PGA.  He has to rely on continuing to hole more than his fair share of those fifteen to twenty footers to compete.  

Whether these three continue to be the top guns, and eventually find themselves revered anything like Jack, Arnie, and Gary, remains to be seen.  What is undeniable is that we really are witnessing some great golf.