Jason Day believes a more cagey approach to the tough Blue Monster course can help him super-charge his drive for golf’s world No.
The 27-year-old world No.4 aims to capitalise on strong early-season momentum in this week’s lucrative World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at the Trump Doral resort in Florida.
Having triumphed at Torrey Pines just under a month ago and also notched third and fourth placings in four starts this year, Day is trending heavily toward his goal of becoming world No.1.
Just 74 players make up the field in this week’s no-cut elite event, including every one of the world’s top 50 – the first time since the 2012 US PGA Championship an event has been so stacked.
For Day it represents a chance to jump to world No.2 should he triumph, bringing him closer to Rory McIlroy – as well as claiming a winner’s cheque of over $A2 million.
But he is mindful that the famed Blue Monster course has not been kind to him in the past, with a best finish of tied 20th in 2012.
Last year he was fresh off his drought-breaking win in the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship but was forced to withdraw from Doral with the thumb injury that would plague his entire season.
Day said he would have to play smart on the revamped course.
“It is going to be a grinding week. It is a very tough course and, with the wind up, it will be really difficult,” Day said.
“I am hopeful the recent changes to the course will help the way I look at this place but I have also realised attitude is a big issue for me here.
“I need to make sure I stay in the grind and know that anything under par here you are beating the course.
“I have to be cautious and pick the right risks.”
He sees the week as a big opportunity, with the world’s best players present and big ranking points on offer.
“Winning Torrey was great and an awesome way to get the year started but winning a tournament like this, with the calibre of player, could really propel me into the majors,” Day told AAP.
“I want to keep it going, I want to win more tournaments. When you want to be number one you have to win.
“I want to be a guy who wins consistently and wins on the biggest stages and as such I am focused on right now and this week.”
World No.5 Adam Scott will make his debut for 2015 after the recent birth of his first daughter, paired with countryman Day and world No.6 Jim Furyk in the opening two rounds.
Fellow Australians John Senden and Geoff Ogilvy join the field courtesy of making last season’s Tour Championship while Greg Chalmers and Steven Jeffress will also tee up after finishing at the top of the 2014 Australasian Tour Order of Merit.