Jason Day motivated by failure to get name on Claret Jug

Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy had already announced they won't take part in golf's return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904. To get into a playoff, you know, standing here, you'll take that.

"I'm okay! I've had two weeks off and we were down in London with the family, and playing a bit of social golf and just chilling and so on". And joking apart, it's a very good time to play.

"Maybe the stats don't say it, but I feel like I do, so I think that's the important thing".

The Doc stays with Pádraig for each Open, and next week, they will both appear at Roganstown Golf & Country Club in North Dublin for a presentation on "Tour Life".

But two-time Major victor Johnson joked he had actually been practising letting go of the Jug before at home.

That list includes Arnold Palmer (1962), Tom Weiskopf (1973), Tom Watson (1982), Mark Calcavecchia (1989), Justin Leonard (1997) and longshot Todd Hamilton (2004). I've always said it that we've been spoiled by Tiger Woods and how he dominated very much through the years.

Two-time major champion Jordan Spieth dropped out on Monday, just before the deadline to set the 60-man field.

However, he kept his head down the stretch this time and won by three strokes despite being assessed a one-stroke penalty after the round.

But after claiming the last of three places available in the 36-hole qualifier at Glasgow Gailes at the end of June, the 53-year-old accepted the invitation to hit the opening tee shot at 6:35am alongside former world No 1 Luke Donald and Australia's Marc Leishman.

Day comes to Royal Troon off the back of a loss at the WGC - Bridgestone Invitational and while it was a disappointing result, he believes it has made him a better player. I like the kind of golf over there.

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As any golfer will tell you, the frustration to get out of theses hazards can be vast and the 27-year-old needs a total of six attempts to finally get on with his round. It's generally windy, so you use the wind.

Armed with the latest swing analysis technology, Johnson knuckled down to making sure he became more consistent in this key department.

"It's not me and Bob talking to the audience, it's us talking with the audience".

"The answer is if you could just focus on the target and nothing else, you'd be just fine". I mean, obviously St. Andrews - even at St. Andrews you've still got to use the greens, you've got to use the wind, use everything to get the ball close to the hole. The links style courses fit his eye and he knows how to handle bad weather.

But it is improvements in his approach play that have made the biggest difference.

DJ has played well all the season, with 10 finishes in the top 10 and 13 in the top 25 in 15 tournaments without missing the cut, but didn't find the winner's circle until the second major of the year. "He has that weapon that is just basically unbeatable - driving the golf ball - and as he's improved his wedges ... that nearly becomes unbeatable".

"I don't want to lose being world No.1", said Day, a favourite to lift the Claret Jug. "I used to put pressure on myself when I was two in the world coming here and expectations were high".

He has finished out of the top 10 only twice in his nine tournaments dating to March. "The thing has a lot of weight to it, in the sense that it represents golf and sports as far as I'm concerned".

"Every year I start out, I get excited for all the majors. I'm looking forward to the challenge".

  • Erica Roy