Day will win Masters - Player, Strange

Jason Day
Jason Day smiles as he addresses the media at Augusta National today. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Golf legend Gary Player and dual US Open winner Curtis Strange have both tipped the world No.1 to win this week's US Masters.

Day is guaranteed to be top of the rankings when he arrives at Augusta National following back-to-back victories in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Dell Match Play.

Former Ryder Cup captain Strange feels the US PGA champion can become just the third player after Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to claim a green jacket after winning their previous two tournaments.

"Absolutely I think he can do it," said the 1988 and 1989 US Open champion, who is now an analyst for ESPN. "I think it's a great position to be in.

"You wonder how long it will last. He's not thinking like that. He's doing everything he can possibly do to keep this going through next week, and I'd much rather be in a position where people are saying can it last, versus trying to find something. I'd rather be in Jason Day's position than (defending champion) Jordan Spieth's position right now.

"Jason is incredibly streaky. We saw that last year. But really it's a streak continuing from last year to this year. He seems to have figured it out.

"Remember, we wondered when we first saw Jason about five years ago at Augusta (he finished joint second on his debut in 2011) and then he didn't quite play to what we thought he might the next couple of years, due to injuries and whatnot.

"He's doing now what I've always thought he would be able to do. He's an incredible swinger of the golf club, a free swinger, which means he's going to play some streaky golf, up and down a little bit, much like Rory (McIlroy)," Strange said.

"And when a standard has been set by Tiger playing well every single week, sometimes it's a bit unfair to hold all these guys to that. But Jason is having a streak of his own, and it's good stuff, and I don't see any reason why he won't be playing well next week."

Player, a career grand slam winner and triple Masters champion, agrees with Strange after Day triumphed last week in the World Match Play against the top 64 players in the world.

Following the win, Day moved back to the top of the world rankings, dropping Spieth to second.

“There are a host of players that can win (The Masters), but I loved Jason Day's swing long before he won (the USPGA) and I've always loved Jason Day's game," Player said.

"At the moment, I would say Jason Day,” said the 80-year-old Player.

His believes the major obstacle to Day's success this week will be the uncanny putting ability of the defending champion, Jordan Spieth.




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