Jason Day has covered up the holes remaining from last season. The Aussie started 2014 with three top tens in his first four events before thumb and back injuries sidelined him for two separate extended periods. In 2015, Day is swinging at full force. The 27-year-old has four top tens in seven events, including a third career PGA Tour win at the Farmers Insurance Open in February. This week, Day returns to The Masters, where he finished tied for second in 2011 and third in 2013. After all, Augusta is his favorite American venue.
ThePostGame: Coming out of the 2014 season, what were the high points? What were the low points?
JASON DAY: The high points were when I was on the golf course, I played pretty good. The low points were the injuries obviously. That's something that I'm trying to take care of.
TPG: Is the recovery from the back injury a more physical recovery or is the emotional recovery of taking a full swing the greater challenge?
DAY: It's not so much the emotional recovery as physical. It really hurt. That even goes into the thumb, as well. You can't pick up a golf club if your thumb hurts. Every time I put pressure on my thumb, it absolutely killed it. To get over that finally was a breath of fresh air. To really understand that that minor change in the grip weakened it up really helped a lot and eased the pain away.
TPG: What influence has Tiger Woods had on your career as a golfer and on a personal relationship?
DAY: It's kind of strange. I've idolized the guy ever since I was a kid. He changed my life for the better. I read a book about him and that made me wake up at 5 o'clock every morning. Now, I get to play against him competitively, which is kind of neat. Many people have an idol, but they don't get to play against him. I get to play against him. It's great to be able to sit there and talk to him and pick his brain. At the end of the day, whether you think Jack is better or Tiger is better, he's one of the best of all time. To be able to sit there and pick his brain for a while, it feels like it's almost better than going to practice.
TPG: You've been on the cusp of major championships …
DAY: I'd like to change that.
ThePostGame: What do you need to do to change that and win?
DAY: I think just being comfortable with the fact it's OK to win. I want to win so bad, but I think I've had to much of that lore for attraction that you'll do anything possible to get it. Sometimes people are there at a good time and kind of stumble upon it. Right time, right place type thing. I just want to keep working toward it with my mind and my body.
TPG: You're now 27 years old, but you're considered almost a veteran …
DAY: Back in the day, early 30s was young. Now, since all these young guys are coming, early 20s is considered young.
TPG: Looking back on the seven years, what would you say is the strongest part of your game?
DAY: I think the want to get better. Yeah, I have tools in the bag. I hit the ball long. My short game is solid. I putt good. The one thing I'd love to improve is just my irons. Overall, I feel like I play the game pretty well. The want to improve myself and win tournaments and see how far I go is crucial. At the end of my career, am I going to say I did well, but I didn't give it my all? I'd be very, very angry with myself if I didn't give 100 percent. If I gave my all and I got to whatever point in the world, I could look back and at least I say I did the best I could.
TPG: When you're on the course and you have fans cheering for you, whether in a major or not, how do you train for that part of the game where you have to have your emotions in check?
DAY: My mom always said be humble. Be humble, be humble, be humble. Growing up as a kid, when I won tournaments, I never rubbed it in any kids faces. I always think about my mother saying be humble. The majority of that comes back to my team. Golf is an individual sport, but I have a team behind me that supports me. My golf coach, who is also my caddy, [Colin Swatton,] does so much work behind my scenes. He does all my stats. He knows to the point what will win the tournament. It's insane. He says you need to have 18 birdies, one eagle and seven bogeys to win the golf tournament this week. This is your previous history here. These are the holes you've played bad. This is why and this is how we'll change our game.
TPG: Do you have any superstitions you apply on the course?
DAY: No. The only superstition I have is I'll never touch a trophy unless I earned it.
TPG: When you look at the young guys coming up, do you point one out who is going to be the next big thing?
DAY: I'm the old one of that group. Obviously Rory [McIlroy] is going to be there for a long time. As long as he stays healthy, the guy goes at it so fast as well. It's not the want and the will for him. It's about staying healthy for those guys. Rickie Fowler's going to be there. He's just in a confident run right now. Then you've got your Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama who have a lot of talent. Then you've got these young kids like Tony Finau (Jabari Parker's cousin) who's ripping it right now. He played on the Web.com Tour last year. I'll get to a tournament and be like who are these people? There are fresh faces every year. It's like when you're in high school and the new kids come in.
TPG: How do you think golf will innovate in the near future?
DAY: There's always going to be innovation through TaylorMade and clubs because they're the leading innovators in the golfing industry. I really don't know … the stats thing that I said, that's kind of the way people are going right now. Billy Horschel has a guy that really helped him along the way to win the FedEx Cup. Tiger's been doing it for a long time. The real innovation is staying one step ahead of the next guy. Doing whatever you can–that's legal–to stay ahead of the game.
TPG: What's your favorite tournament in the states?
DAY: Oh, Augusta.