A Great “Day” for Sports’ Good Guys

Jason Day
August17/ 2015

It was NOT  “A New Day Dawning” on the PGA Tour…  anyone who follows golf enough to recognize the name “Eldridge” has heard of Jason Day.  He has been “playing late on Sunday afternoon” for 5-6 years as one of those Aussies or South Africans or whatevers who seems to always be around the Top Ten and “seems like a nice young man”.

No, he is not “that kid from Dallas who looks like your paper boy”.   WOW, is THAT ever an outdated analogy.   Anyway that one is Jordan Spieth and we really like HIM too.   Has Jordan Spieth been “a Big Deal” so long that Golf was hungry for a fresh face?   Not hardly.  Just last March (5 months ago !!) only PGA purists had ever heard of “that up & comer” not named Rory…. and now there’s this other new guy.

Is this the guy that wears bright orange outfits and a funny hat?  No, thats Ricky Fowler.  He’s a good young guy too.

Isn’t he the one that had “Roy’s disease” (vertigo) in that other tournament at that ugly course with the skanky TV bimbo.  Yes, that’s the one…. and you remember Holly The Bimbo more than you do Jason Day.   That says a lot about the American sports audience.

“Winning a major” is NOT the really Official “coming out” of a new sports celebrity.   That singular moment is when the TV cameras find his Hottie young wife in the gallery and within ten minutes sicko nitwits are photoshopping porn pictures of her on the Internet.   Are we a pathetic culture or what!  So, yes, Jason (and Ellie and young son Dash) have officially arrived.

He is from Australia (not South Africa or Fiji) …. came up from a hardscrabble boyhood…. and has indeed “been playing late on Sunday afternoon for over $24,000,000 in winnings so far over 6-7 years on Tour.   But now Jason Day has “won a major” and galoots have leered at his pregnant young wife Ellie “a former waitress from small town Ohio” and….

Golf now has Two Young Guns with J-names – Jason and Jordan – to take it into the “Whatever Happened To Tiger” Era.

Oh, don’t worry.  The reporters will still focus on “how did Tiger do” and the cameras will still track his agony and grimaces and banal post-round pressers where Tiger assures one/all he is “figuring it out” or “feels it coming back” or “I hit some good ones out there” enroute to another mid-70s bogeyfest.

Tiger is still “the Great Black Hope so until “the first Gay Golfer” arrives, the pathetic PC-obsessed media must fill space with “how’d the cheating black guy do today?” stories. …. Jason is part Filipino.  Hopefully that scores enough Diversity points to merit coverage.

I have followed PGA Tour long enough to recall the arrival of “a Merry Mex” whose father was a gravedigger in El Paso and who hustled easy marks on a muni-course in Dallas using a Dr Pepper bottle on a stick as a club.   The “Merry Mex” quipped and scrambled well enough to become a household name – Lee Trevino – and made enough $$$$ in the 70-80s to become “a Spaniard”.

Anyhooo, now we have Jason and Jordan and both are bona-fide…

“if your daughter brought either one home for Thanksgiving to meet you and your wife, you’d be thrilled” category of young men.   I like that category.

Is this the one married to Wayne Gretzky’s skanky daughter?  No, thats Dustin Johnson who is now the “best golfer to never win a major”.

Here’s enough background about “this new new guy” to get you started.   Does he have a little sister with some disability?  No, thats the other “new guy” – the really young paper boy-type from Dallas.



Meet Jason Day….

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Jason Day didn’t have it easy growing up.

He was raised in a poor family in Australia. His first house, in his own words, was “old” and “broken-down.” It was tough for his family just to get him to the golf course every day, and his mother worked multiple jobs just to put him through school.

Day has since admitted his past blunted his edge once he started making money on tour. There were times, once he had made it as a professional, that Day would just sit alone in his room, refreshing the webpage showing his bank account, not believing what he was seeing.

Day’s life fell apart once his father, Alvin, died from stomach cancer when he was 11. It left his family in tatters, and Day almost never recovered. Shane Ryan, in his book Slaying The Tiger, spoke to Day about that painful period in his life:

By his own reckoning, Day went off the rails. He was only twelve, but he began drinking, staying out late, and getting in fights at school. His father had been the one to facilitate his golf game, from that first 3-wood to the pawnshop to the day he built Jason a putting green at the family home in Rockhampton, but his role had gone deeper than that.

“My dad was the strict one in the family,” Day said. “My mom was always the one that, after we got the belt, she would hug us and tell us it was okay. My dad . . . I remember saying “shut up” one time, and he belted the crap out of me. But that’s just how it was. I mean, he kept me in line. And as soon as he passed away, you know, we all got out of line.”

It continued:

After Alvin’s death, the family unit began to break down. One of his sisters ran away from home for three years, and Day’s drinking got worse. Young as he was, he became an alcoholic. He brawled in school, and became sullen. His mother knew he had potential as a golfer, and she made a desperate choice. By taking a second mortgage on her home and enlisting help from one of Jason’s uncles, she sent her son to Kooralbyn International, an independent boarding school known for producing top-tier athletes like track star and gold medalist Cathy Freeman, and the golfer to whom Day would always be compared, Adam Scott.

Day remembers the loneliness of the trip south, when he was dumped without ceremony and left to fend for himself. His new school was in the middle of nowhere—some of the students had been sent by parents who wanted to get rid of them, and others were promising athletes hoping to turn professional. The culture, and the lack of surrounding temptations, made it easy for him to stop drinking and focus.Jason Day

And now Day can be considered, without any doubt, one of the best golfers in the world. There were moments during his final round where it looked as if this PGA Championship might slip away, but it was never truly in doubt. He has his major, and he did it beating Jordan Spieth.

The Australian is a living, breathing reminder of what we like to call the American Dream. Day is thriving in a game that is often derided by critics for being too elitist and exclusionary, in a time when fans are perpetually disappointed by athletes’ antics, Day represents everything that’s best about sports.

This is only beginning for the 27-year-old Australian, and we’re all the better for it.
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