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July 22, 2015

Jason Day


THE MODERATOR: Jason Day in the interview room, number 16 on the FedExCup as we start to wind down in the regular season. If you could start us off with some thoughts about your position and then obviously trying to improve it with a few events left?

JASON DAY: Right. It's quite surprising to -- must have been a lot of guys before me on the FedExCup last week that must have played great as well. It was very hard to move up, unless you won like Zack and moved inside the top 10, but I stayed at 16. I believe I was 16 at the start of the week and stayed at 16. So the T4 didn't really get me moving forward. But with everything kind of winding down now everyone's thinking about kind of positioning themselves the best they can obviously going forward just to try to get a little bit of a buffer to try to get themselves in the TOUR -- ultimate goal is to try to give yourself a shot at winning the $10 million and the FedExCup. That's what we're trying to accomplish. But right now we're just trying to really just give ourselves a good kind of shot at it, and give ourselves a chance at getting in the playoffs.

Q. Then some comments about this week? You just got off the golf course. What are your thoughts and does this golf course suit your game?
JASON DAY: Yeah, I think it was about six years ago the last time I played here. So some of the holes I remembered, some of the holes I didn't. I remember last time we were here I racked up a $1500 phone bill because I was in the family dining on my phone the whole time because we had storm delays. So thanks for paying that, Bud. I appreciate it, mate. It's good to be back. I mean, it's fantastic and amazing what RBC has done with the Canadian Open and Canadian Golf Association, what they've really done to put this tournament together and make it a premier event. For it to be in the slot where it's right behind or right after the British Open is a very tough slot to be, but they have world class players, a good team, with Team RBC, and a lot of the guys are supporting it. There were a lot of guys coming back from the British Open on the charter coming back across. A lot of support from the PGA TOUR players, and I think they've done a really wonderful job with the tournament. With that said, I mean, the fans are great here. It's good to be back, and I'm looking forward to giving it a good shot here.

Q. Jason, how much energy do you have in the tank right now? Obviously playing the extended day and the rain and wind and everything we had to go through there last week, what is in your tank?
JASON DAY: Yeah, I was struggling a little bit today. It's just so hard because I was on the charter just trying to get back to normal times. We're flying. It took 7 hours to fly from Edinburgh to Toronto. I stayed up the whole flight just to try to really get in front of the jet lag. Because if I went to bed, I would have been tired and I would have stayed up all morning. But it's hard because we played five days. I was in the rotation where the guys took me 25 hours to play my second round. So it was just tough. You're expecting hard, tough conditions at British Opens and at the Open Championship. But not unplayable weather and conditions. It's really difficult like that. But something where it was good to see myself and Louis, and a couple of the other guys that were on the outside played well enough to be able to be in contention on Sunday because we, unfortunately, we had kind of a bad draw there. It showed a lot of just patience for myself. I mean, I played good all week. It was 2 or 3 bogeys in the second round, and the other three rounds I had bogey-free rounds. I was extremely patient with myself. Making sure that I definitely gave myself the opportunities knowing where I needed to miss them. But overall it was just a grinding week. I know that majors are like that, but that's kind of gone now, and I had a good finish there, and I'm looking forward to trying to improve that finish that I had last week and trying to bleed it into this week with being patient. Because I know that even though I think a lot under par wins here, it obviously depends on the weather too. But it's something where I need to take that discipline that I had last week and really kind of put it into this week as well, even though it's two different golf courses. You can attack this golf course a lot more.

Q. You're known for your medical struggles over the last month as well and the Vertigo. I've had it myself, so I know what kind of a struggle that is. But kind of a miracle cure. You're right back to where you want to be, I guess. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
JASON DAY: Yeah, after the U.S. Open, I think the majority of people in here saw me fall on my face at the U.S. Open. To be able to get through that week was tough. But I got through it, and I went and saw my Dr., Dr. Oas in Columbus, Ohio. We talked a lot and went through a bunch of studies that we've done, sleep studies and blood tests. I think we did 20 vials of blood and MRIs on my head and my neck, and really just kind of trying to pinpoint what is going on. I ended up finding out I've got a viral infection in my ear that's attacking one of the nerves in my right ear. When it gets inflamed, it messes with the signals that throws from your nerve to your brain. Then that just throws everything off. Right now I'm on viral medication, and the more run down I get, the more susceptible I am to getting the vertigo just because that nerve inflames and then messes with the signals and throws everything off again. So the viral medication that I'm on, I have to up the dosage just because it's not quite strong enough right now. So when I go back next week I'll probably see my doctor again and try to sort it out. But overall I feel healthy. I feel good. It's no good having these things. I get asked about it every week, and it's just it can be a pain in the butt sometimes. But it's just something that I have to battle. Some people are just lucky to have a blessed body that just doesn't break down. Unfortunately, with the injuries that I've had in my career, I'm not hitting anyone out there. So it's just funny that golf can have so many injuries. You know, it can be frustrating, but the only thing I can do is just really kind of find what I can do to prevent it, and just move on and hopefully I don't get injured again.

Q. I wonder if we can jump ahead to the Presidents Cup. I believe you're No. 1 in the International Team rankings right now. It's going on the other side of the world to South Korea and Asia for the first time. Just give us your assessment of how confident you are that the International Team can turn it around and finally win one of these things again?
JASON DAY: It's been a while hasn't it? I think the biggest thing for us is to come together as a team. I think the last Presidents Cup that we had was with Captain Price. He was a phenomenal captain. He did a lot of good things with us. I think the guys were really motivated to play well. Just unfortunate we had a bunch of weather that hurt us a lot. I think the biggest thing that we're looking forward to is getting over there, getting used to the time change. Making sure all the guys are set and ready to go. Really kind of knowing what we need to do with the course. I mean, the Americans are playing so good right now. They've got a really good team. I think their last guys maybe in the 20s in the World Rankings, and I think our guys maybe 60 or 70th in the World Golf ranking, so there is a little depth there that we need to close the gap on. It won't take much. I mean, the great thing about team events and Match Play is that anyone can beat anyone on any given day, and it shows in the World Match Play that we have. That a guy that's ranked 52nd in the world can beat a guy that's ranked 8th. So it's really important for us to get on the same page and really give it a shot, because it's starting to wear on us, I think. It's starting to get at us. We really need to do something quick. We need to make it more competitive just so people are a lot more interested, I think. The Ryder Cup is huge. But for people to be more interested in the Presidents Cup, it has to be competitive. Unfortunately over the last so many years since we won it, it hasn't been competitive enough. And it's just been kind of blown out of the water.

Q. Just a quick follow-up, right now your partner in crime from your field, Graham DeLaet is not among the top 10 in the International Team. If he doesn't crack the top 10 by the cutoff date, might you have a word with captain price or do you think you need to about getting Graham on the team?
JASON DAY: Right. I think Graham has been struggling with some injuries as well this year, and by now I'm pretty sure he's got them worked out. I'm looking forward to playing with him Thursday and Friday this week. So I'll be able to talk to him, get his feedback on how he's feeling, how he's playing, how his body is, how he is mentally. It's huge. We played so good together. The synergy between us at Muirfield was huge. We kind of fed off each other, which was huge. Because before then we never really met each other before that, just in passing. But we kind of got thrown in there together. We kicked off pretty good. It was great we played so good together. The first thing for me is just to really kind of understand where he's at mentally and physically, and then go from there. He's good enough to play. He's already played one, so he's good enough to get himself on the team. We've still got plenty more tournaments to go. He's only probably a couple tournaments away from being on the team, or at least one week away. If he goes ahead and wins maybe this week, that will definitely change the way he looks at things. Right now I'm looking forward to playing with him.

Q. We'll stick with the international golf thing for a bit. Seems obvious you'll be in Rio next year. You're obviously the newest member of Team RBC. Have you and your management team sat down and taken a look at the schedule for next year, and now it's all going to correlate together?
JASON DAY: Well, I haven't seen the schedule. I don't know what's going on, because I just haven't looked that far. Where's the Canadian Open?

Q. Between the British and the PGA.
JASON DAY: That's a fantastic schedule there. It's so tough because the Olympics is right in the middle of our season. It just messes with the whole schedule. One thing that I do want to do is I want to represent my country in the Olympics. It would be amazing to win the medal. Not a gold medal, but there is definitely something that I need to sit back and have a look at the whole schedule and see what I'm doing because I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm taking the rest of the year off after the Presidents Cup just because we're having a baby in November, so there are tournaments that I need to add somewhere, and tournaments where I just can't miss. So with that said, looking at the schedule right now with the two majors and Canada, that's going to be tough, a tough stretch for me. But I'm looking forward to having a look at the schedule and picking my tournaments what I need to do next year.

Q. Just a quick follow-up. How much are you followed at home? What goes on at home in terms of following Jason Day when it comes to, I mean, in your home country? Are they constantly looking at what's going on with you, are they writing about it all the time, getting comments from you?
JASON DAY: Golf is not very popular. I don't think it's very popular in Australia. Well, a little bit, little bit. You look down and you scroll down, and I'm probably in the corner over here somewhere on the internet on their page. But the Australian guys out here look after me. I think the small niche market back there that our golfers definitely want to know what's going on with the Australian golfers not only here in the States but across Europe as well and probably around the world. So there is a little bit of a market there. But the popular sports down there, Aussie Rules and rugby and all that stuff. But they do follow me. I wish I was going to go back to Australia this year, but unfortunately I can't. It's just bad timing with the wife getting pregnant and, you know, it just happened that way. I wish it was more. There's just not enough of us down there. There are 23 million. There are more people -- there are double the people in California than there is in Australia, and the land mass size is probably as big as North America. But it's just unfortunate, but it's not big enough.

Q. You mentioned wanting to perhaps play in the Olympics. What do you make of golf as an Olympic sport? Most individual sports are not going to be a team competition. But what do you make of it as an Olympic sport coming back to those games?
JASON DAY: I've always thought that the Olympics was an amateur -- the amateurs playing, running, and you know, I always thought it wasn't a professional kind of thing where you go as a professional. You go in and represent your country in the Olympics. That's what I thought. I think it would be fantastic if amateurs could do that. But then again, to have the opportunity of representing your country and going to the open ceremony and winning a medal would be pretty neat just looking back on it. Because I had a buddy that represented Team USA. Won the gold in basketball, and I was at his house and looking at his medal, and I mean it was just an amazing piece. Like it's history being able to look back on it and tell a story one day and what you did, where it was, what happened. It would be a good moment just to capture in time.

Q. I don't want to belabor it, but you talked about the fact of having some studies done before the U.S. Open. Had this been bothering you for some period of time then?
JASON DAY: The vertigo, right?

Q. Yeah.
JASON DAY: Yeah, 2010 I had it for seven months.

Q. Is it all the same?
JASON DAY: No, I had on my left side I had my maxillary sinus. I had a maxillary sinus that was a hundred percent blocked. Had a cyst in there, had surgery. It was tough, but that had a lot of leakage, a lot of drops going back in my throat and it was throwing everything off. Akron last year I was in the gym, threw everything off. Earlier this year I was on the -- like I went through a stage where I just was going and going and going, and I think through exhaustion it started happening again, and my immune system, and that's why we kind of found out that I had the virus in my ear through being run down all the time.

Q. Is it all related, essentially?
JASON DAY: I think it is. Well, it's all upper respiratory kind of stuff, immune system. The only thing is that vertigo can come from anything. There are so many different ways that vertigo can happen. You get the benign positional vertigo, which I had in the U.S. Open, where the crystals get loose and go down one of the three channels, and you have to get certain exercises to throw those crystals back in. I sound like a doctor. I feel like I'm in a conference right now. Yeah, I mean, if anyone has benign positional vertigo, I can fix you. Yeah, it's tough. That's the thing. It's just something I have to deal with. It's not something to go away. It will come back whenever it wants to, and that's just the unfortunate thing.

Q. So is it something that you'll have to deal with on a prolonged basis?
JASON DAY: This viral medication, I just don't know if I'll be on it for the rest of my life. It's that kind of thing. So I'm going back for more tests probably next week with my doctors just to see how it goes. Then we'll have a talk from there.

Q. Does it worry you that it could potentially impact your career at all? You think about it, and think about this is not an ideal thing when you need balance and focus?
JASON DAY: Yeah, it's just something where I have to be mentally stronger and know what's going on with myself. The biggest thing for me was like what was going on? Why was this happening? I couldn't pinpoint it. Just after a couple months, a few months I'm going I'm still shaky. I'm still walking around and I don't feel right, and I had no answers. Finally I saw this doctor, Dr. Oas, and we pinpointed what was happening. This is the first initial step, and then after the initial screen, then the next step is to do some more testing and go from there because we're just trying to check the boxes off. It's a process, but it's something that I can be patient with because golf is kind of a marathon, not a sprint. You can play golf until you're 50 or you can play golf even longer than that. So it's a fantastic game with that. But I'm not on a time limit, which is great. I've got all the time in the world.

Q. How do you not hit the ball or have you already hit the wall? If you're running on fumes, how do you combat it? You're usually always a top 10 guy. Second part of my question, you're an international guy. The Canadian Open means a lot to Canadians. It's our national, and we have a lot of pride. Do you have the same pride playing in it because you're an international guy and know what it means for people in this country?
JASON DAY: I'm trying to think of your first question. What was the first question again?

Q. Have you hit the wall yet?
JASON DAY: Yes, yeah, I have then, yeah. Yeah, I've hit the wall. I hit the wall out there on the golf course. Yeah, it was tough. I was there. I was at the British Open prepping. I was supposed to leave Thursday night before the Thursday before the actual Open Championship started. Got delayed out of Columbus, Ohio, missed my flight. So I was at the airport all day. Ended up leaving Friday and getting in Saturday, and getting in and prepping all that week and playing the tournament and all that stuff happened. Now I'm here. I'm still trying to learn how to best rest while staying switched on, which is very difficult to do. Getting as much sleep as possible. The good thing about last week was -- it wasn't a good thing. I didn't have my family with me, so I could get the sleep that I needed and the time schedule with my sleep patterns was a lot quicker to get back when I went over there. If I took Dash over there or my wife over there, Dash would have been on a sleep schedule and would have been all whacked out. He would have been finally sleeping on a normal schedule at the end of the week, and then we had to turn around and come back to Canada. So that was a good thing for me to kind of have them stay here and go play the British Open and come back. So I get to see him this week, but I'm just trying to rest up as much as possible because we did have a Monday finish. It's tough. Nothing you can do. I'm just trying to do my best. But I mean with regards to the golf course and finishing and trying to compete and win, tomorrow I'll be fine. I have to come out. If I'm a little bit under the weather with how I am focus-wise, that means I've just got to talk more to my caddie because I really want to give this a shot. I mean, I really want to win this tournament just because it's a Canadian Open. It's an Open Championship for the country of Canada. It's a big, big deal. We're the third oldest tournament in history, so there is a lot of history, lot of good names that have been on the trophy, and I want to be able to put mine as one on the trophy as well. So a lot of history and tradition behind this one event. It's huge not only for this country, but it's huge for everyone that's playing in this event this week. I would love to win it, but there are guys it can change their careers just from this one week, and I'm looking forward to competing against the guys. It should be a good challenge this week.
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