Thursday, March 30, 2017

After Further Review: Perception of Day hurt by WD

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here’s what’s weighing on our writers’ minds.

On Jason Day’s latest withdrawl:

Jason Day’s latest withdrawal seems perfectly legitimate, but it doesn’t help the perception that the former world No. 1 is a walking infirmary.

Day withdrew from the WGC-Mexico Championship Sunday citing a double ear infection and the flu, becoming the first player inside the OWGR top 50 to pull out of the no-cut event. It marks the fifth time that Day has cited illness or flu-like symptoms as his reason for withdrawing from a tournament in the last year-plus.

Day has two young children at home, which as any parent can attest increases significantly his chances of catching a variety of ailments. But the notion that a world-class athlete, near the prime of his career at age 29, regularly succumbs to illness is difficult for many to square. Add to that the back injury that sidelined Day last fall and the vertigo that affected his performance at the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, and the early exits continue to pile up.

When Day is at his best, he’s difficult to beat – case in point the 47-week run atop the world rankings that ended just last week. But after yet another illness-related withdrawal, it’s fair to wonder what it will take to allow Day to remain healthy for any extended period of time. – Will Gray

On honesty from PGA Tour players:

Two episodes this week prove that while the public and press claim to want open athletes who don’t cling to clichés, they in fact have no interest in that kind of honesty.

During his Sirius/XM radio show, Pat Perez said a litany of things about Tiger Woods, including “you think he thinks he can beat somebody? The guy can’t stand during an interview.” Perez later felt it necessary to dial back his comments, “I had an opinion on Tiger, and I said it. No one wants to see Tiger come back, compete and win again more than me.”

During the same news cycle, Bryson DeChambeau took a shot at the USGA, “they’re not a good organization,” he said before tweeting an apology, “I was stopped by a member of the media at a bad time and my emotions got the better of me.”

Honesty isn’t always pretty, and it seems like it’s getting less and less attractive. – Rex Hoggard

On the final round of the Honda Classic:

The Honda Classic is white-knuckle golf for 54-hole leaders. Rickie Fowler is the fourth winner in a row on PGA National’s Champion Course to fail to break par in the final round. He won ugly, yes, but it’s looking like that’s the only way to close out there, because there seems to be no escaping some kind of calamity there. While you would think it would make for leaders playing more defense than usual, more boring golf, the course won’t allow it. Leaders have to make birdies to offset their mistakes, and it’s fun to watch. – Randall Mell

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