Rising Australian star knocking on the door for breakthrough win.
Jason Day finished second at the US Open for the second time in three years, producing his fourth major top-three effort in three years with form he hopes will soon bring a major breakthrough.
The 25-year-old Queenslander missed a short par putt on the 72nd hole at Merion to finish a final-round one-over 71 that left him sharing second with American Phil Mickelson, both two strokes behind England’s Justin Rose.
While disappointed at the defeat in his 11th major start, the Aussie was confident his day will come as it did for Rose in his 37th major appearance.
“I’ve just got to keep putting myself in position to win,” Day said. “My game is in a really good spot right now. I’m doing the right things. I’m doing the little things that count.
“I’ve been close so many times now in majors, especially at a young age, which is nice. I’m still 25. I’ve got plenty of majors to play in and hopefully I can keep doing the same as I’m doing and hopefully win one soon.”
Day shared second at the 2011 Masters and US Open and settled for third at Augusta National two months ago behind countryman Adam Scott, who became the first Aussie to win the Masters, a dream that Day had shared.
Shaking off the disappointment and finding the positives this week will be part of Day’s preparations for next month’s British Open and majors beyond.
“I have to stay positive within myself but I’ve got to look at it both ways and say, ‘What did I do great this week and what do I need to improve?'” Day said.
“We’ll sit down after the week with my coach and my agent, my wife and my little boy, and we’ll have a look at the week and see if we can get better from there. That’s the only way we can move on and get better.”
Day refuses to have a sense of inevitability about winning a major title because of his near-misses, with six-time US Open runner-up Mickelson’s never having won a US Open despite four other major crowns a perfect cautionary tale.
“It totally depends on the play, totally depends on me,” Day said.
“If I want it enough and I’m willing to do the hard work and practice and keep myself dedicated, I think it will happen. If I slack off and don’t do the work then it won’t happen. And that’s just plain and simple.
“Every goal that I try and accomplish, it’s all the process. Process, goals, turn into the big goals that you accomplish. Everyone knows that. I’ve just got to keep working hard on doing the little things right.”