Paired with an in-form Tiger, Day can’t hide his WGC excitement

Jason Day will have to battle enormous crowds and the Tiger Woods comeback circus if he wants to finally win the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at the course which has teased him so often.

US PGA Tour officials are expecting bumper galleries having grouped former world No.1s Day and Woods together for the opening rounds at Ohio's famed Firestone Country Club.

Mutual respect: Jason Day can't wait to tee it up with Tiger Woods this week.

Photo: David J. Phillip

Anticipation has reached fever pitch given Woods won the tournament eight times between 1999 and 2013 – the latter being his last worldwide victory.

But the 14-time major champion has not returned to Firestone since 2014, when he dramatically withdrew injured during the final round.

Now, the 42-year-old arrives in razor-sharp form having recorded top 10s in his previous two US Tour starts – including a tie for sixth at the British Open, where he briefly held the lead during the final round at Carnoustie.


"It's going to be huge," Day said.

It is also the last time the WGC-Bridgestone will be held at Firestone, with the elite 73-man event changing its name and moving to Memphis, Tennessee next year.

"I'm really looking forward to it; this is the last time it's here and Tiger is coming off playing some seriously good golf at the Open Championship," Day said.

"There are lot of people excited that he could win here and you practice and play for the chance to come up against Tiger in this kind of form."

Although it pales in comparison to Woods' record, Day has amassed solid results of his own at Firestone.

The Queenslander tied fourth in 2011 and third in 2016, when he held the lead during the final round only to drop three shots between the 15th and 16th holes to hand Dustin Johnson victory.

"I would like to be able to finally finish it off; I've had a couple good results here," said Day, who owns two WGC titles but in the matchplay edition.

"I thoroughly enjoy this course because it's long, narrow and the greens are small, so it tests every facet of your game; particularly the short game.

"Being able to win another WGC event would be a big one."

Day will be joined at the $US10 million ($A13 million) event that has no 36-hole cut by four other Australians – 2011 winner Adam Scott, world No.19 Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith and Wade Ormsby.


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