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September 20, 2015

Jason Day

Lake Forest, Illinois

JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome the 2015 BMW Championship winner Jason Day into the interview room. Jason, it's hard to start with accolades. No. 1 in FedExCup, you'll become No. 1 in the world tomorrow. Just talk a little bit about the dream that you're living right now.

JASON DAY: Yeah, I mean, just four out of the last six weeks it's been kind of a dream run for me. You know, to put it into words, it's quite shocking, really, to really understand what I've accomplished, not only -- golfers have accomplished this kind of feat before, but for me personally, I thought I always had it in me, but just to be able to do it and play the way I have and finish the way I have has been a fantastic ride.

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind, especially with how I started the week, shooting 18-under par through the first two rounds and then on top of it, the last two days were very, very emotional for me, very hard to sleep at night, knowing that I had the chance to get to No. 1.

And obviously I talk about it freely now, but the last -- I've been in here the last four days, but it's been very, very difficult for me to try and downplay getting to No. 1 because I've really wanted to reach this goal for a very long time now.

JOHN BUSH: And you'll turn your focus now to East Lake and the TOUR Championship. Talk about your goals for next week.

JASON DAY: Yeah, I'm going to take Monday and Tuesday off. I'm going to go back home, and then I'm going to fly down to Atlanta on Tuesday night, try and rest up as much as possible. These weeks, there's a lot of highs and lows, so I want to try and get back to that neutral state of mind, not only physically but mentally, as well, and then get into the last tournament of the year for us, the TOUR Championship. This is kind of it for us.

I have to kind of refocus once I get back tonight after we celebrate, and Monday comes around, I'll start thinking about TOUR Champs and I'll start thinking about winning that tournament and then on top of it winning the FedExCup to really put your name down in history.

Q. The wins aside, could you just talk about the level of golf you've played this summer and the satisfaction that comes with getting to that level?
JASON DAY: Once again, it's been one of those kind of summers that it just -- for me personally it's been great because I haven't had the chance to stop, and for me to be able to not have that chance to stop, to really kind of -- when I have a week off or maybe taken one or two days off, but then I'm back at it practicing, I don't really get to stop, so just being able to keep that momentum going, keep that good confidence and the good play up, it's kind of been a really quick summer for me, but it's been the best ever.

The way I feel about my game, confidence level has been the highest I've ever had in my entire life, especially as a professional. But it's just -- it's been an amazing kind of run for me, and now it just tops it off even better just being able to get to No. 1 in the world.

Q. When you won at Torrey Pines this year, you say every year I come in motivated, but this year I am more motivated, and to use your words, you said, "I want to kick some butt this year." Is this what you meant?
JASON DAY: Yeah, definitely. Definitely, I meant it. I was more motivated this year to accomplish that goal of getting to No. 1 in the world, and I said it earlier this year, and kind of really kept it on. I kind of went through a little bit of a slow spell in the middle of my season, but after the U.S. Open and the Open Championship, kind of really just started kicking on. To win four out of the last six has been amazing.

I mean, I've worked very, very hard in the off-season last year, and even in the off weeks that I've had this year, I've been working very hard on my body, on my game, to really understand that there's stuff that I'm doing now that will work. It will pay off, so I've just got to keep making sure that the process that I've got right now and the work that I've put into my game is going to pay off and just understand that it's okay to put the hard yards in now, and if it doesn't happen right away, then it's okay. But knowing that and looking at it now, four out of the last six tournaments that I've won, it's all paying off, and it's paying off very quick.

Q. When did the dream of becoming No. 1, when did it take shape?
JASON DAY: Ever since I was a 13-year-old kid. I started really thinking about playing competitive golf more, but once I started playing golf, reading the book about Tiger Woods, watching him win in '96, also, but I always thought, I think I could turn pro when I was 14, 15 years old, but I always -- once I got to turning professional, I said, okay, now I want to try to accomplish getting to No. 1 in the world, and that's kind of -- around 18 years old when I really wanted to kind of push for that.

Q. How did you feel when you made the comment so publicly when you first came out, how did you feel about the response that people took?
JASON DAY: It wasn't the response that I was expecting. I mean, I expected to get a little bit, but not the response that I got from practically everyone. But it's good to sit in this chair right now, knowing that what I said back when I was 18 years old, it's taken some time, but nine years later, 10 years later, it's worked out. Now I'm sitting on top of the world right now.

Q. When did you finally feel like you had it today?
JASON DAY: Walking down 18 when I hit the second shot right next to the green. I mean, it was a stressful day because I saw Rickie kind of making a charge. It's funny with these things because on my back side -- I played pretty good golf on the front side, bar the three-putt, but on my back side, I know that if I would have given back one or two shots, that leaves the door open, similar to the PGA Championship. The up-and-down on 12 was huge for me, but once again, it was something where if I went, okay, from 20-under to 19- or 18- or even 17-under, that gives guys one or two shots to work with, and anything can happen from there. I know that. When I was walking down after the second shot into 18, I knew that I had a five-shot lead. It would have been a very disastrous shots coming in if I would have lost the lead from there. Kind of walking up, and I was right before the creek, walking up to the green, that's when we started talking about it, me and Cole, and started really understanding what the situation really was about. I mean, it was just kind of -- I mean, it's been a goal of ours personally, me myself and Colin. He should be in the Hall of Fame back home as a PGA teaching professional. To take a 12-year-old kid from nothing and turn him into the best golfer in the world is a pretty nice achievement. I mean, I have him to thank a lot of this to.

Q. And how were you finally able to fall asleep? Is that unusual that you tossed and turned?
JASON DAY: No, it's not -- I mean, sometimes I get good sleep, but the majority of the time I don't get good sleep. Tonight I will not get good sleep. Sunday nights if I'm in contention I get about two hours' sleep just because I'm so amped from what I did today.

But yeah, it was kind of -- it was more so because I knew that if I won there was some good perks that went along with it, staying at No. 1 in the FedExCup, getting to No. 1 in the world, going from my sixth win to my seventh win in a very short period of time, so there was a number of things that were just playing in my mind, and I just couldn't think clearly, and when there's things running through your mind, you just can't go to sleep.

Q. What do you make of the Player of the Year scenarios now with you and Jordan now that you have a fifth win?
JASON DAY: I think it might change some people's minds about it if I go ahead and win next week and win the FedExCup. That'll definitely move some heads, I think. But once again, we can't deny what Jordan has done in the major championships this year. For a 22-year-old kid to accomplish what he's done in the major championships, to even have an opportunity at winning the Grand Slam in the year, calendar year, that has been an amazing ride for him.

But you know what, it's hard to kind of say what -- with my fifth win, he's had four wins but he's had a lot of top 10s. I still think it's him. But I'm hoping that I can go and win next week and get people talking about it a lot more.

Q. Back to 10 years ago when people took you out of context, what do you think 18-year-old Jason would say to those guys now, and what do you think you would say to those guys now?
JASON DAY: I'd love to say I told you so, but that wouldn't be very nice. It's okay to dream big. It's okay to say what you want to do. And for people that don't respect that, then you really don't need to give them the time, because who am I or who are they to tell you that you shouldn't be able to do something, and to be able to sit up here today, No. 1 in the world, looking back when I was an 18 year old kid, very full of confidence, there's not much I would say. I would still thank them because that was kind of the fuel that lit the fire for me, especially with the dedication over these last few years because I know that a lot of people were thinking against me on that. I'm glad I accomplished it.

Q. Since you've ticked the No. 1 goal, major championship goal, youngest Australian golfer No. 1 goal, where are you going from here?
JASON DAY: I'd love to win all the majors, get the career Grand Slam would be fantastic. To win as many tournaments as I can. I'm just here for this one purpose, and that's to try and get better each and every day and try and win as much as I can, while I can. It's not going to last forever, so I may as well do it quickly.

Just be nice about it, too. Everyone that has any sort of involvement in these tournaments that I win, I mean, they don't go unheard. We do appreciate what has happened to run events like this. But you know, I haven't really quite thought about what -- those are the goals that I've always wanted, and I've ticked them off now. Once again, I'm just going to try and win as many majors and many tournaments as I can, but the career Grand Slam would be nice.

Q. A lot of kids will dream of winning the Masters or winning 19 majors or whatever. Why do you think that being world No. 1 was so important to you at such a young age?
JASON DAY: I don't know. I just always had a vision of me standing on top of the earth when I was a kid and knowing that right now there's no one on this planet that's better than me, that's pretty cool. That out of all the golfers that are in the world playing right now, that I'm the best. It's such a good feeling. That's kind of what I was thinking back when I was a little kid.

But to be able to do that, it doesn't -- I can't really think -- I don't know, it feels surreal right now. I still feel like what I did yesterday or the day before that. I'm still a regular guy that is really good at hitting a golf ball.

Q. Does it feel like you thought it would?
JASON DAY: No, actually it -- you think that would be the big shining moment, like yeah, this is great, and you'd have some sort of peace. It's kind of been a little crazy for me lately. But I'm hoping that it sinks in. I don't know. The PGA really still hasn't sunk in from winning the PGA Championship because it's been so quick. But yeah, it's kind of -- I don't know, it just feels normal. I feel like I did yesterday, the same. Once again, I'm just a regular guy like everyone else. Everyone has dreams; as long as you stick to them and work hard, you can accomplish anything.

Q. I wonder what it means for you to be just the third Australian to be the world's best and what it means for the game back home, and just a thought for your mum who made some sacrifices for you to be where you are right now.
JASON DAY: My mum. I -- looking back on it and looking where we were, what the sacrifices she's made for me, the pain and all the hard work that she's had to put into not only myself but into my sisters, into our family to keep the family afloat, for her to have a son that is No. 1 in the world, it must be nice. I'm looking forward to calling my mom and getting to talk to her about it. I know although she's been the greatest supporter, she's been the most strict on me, especially in regards to winning tournaments and stuff. She's been the most hard on me, and it's what has made me work -- my work ethic is from her.

But to be the third Australian to get to No. 1 in the world, I'm hoping this puts a spark in not only junior golf but amateur golf, as well. We are a very proud nation, sporting nation of -- we only have 23 million people, but we're very proud of our sports, very proud of our Australians that are not only here in America but around the world that are compete being and playing against very tough individuals in their sports. To be able to represent Australia today was great. And the people that had involvement in me getting to where I am today, I can't thank them enough.

Q. Who was the first person that really believed in you and this dream of becoming No. 1?
JASON DAY: Yeah, Cole. Kind of we put it together. We had a plan. We said we were trying to get to No. 1 in the world at 22. That was our whole plan. We had an actual plan, okay, this is what you're going to do, this is what you need to practice, this is how everything needs to happen, and at 22 you're going to be No. 1, and I'm five years late. Six years late.

But I mean, it's better late than never, right? I mean, he's been an amazing supporter ever since I met him, ever since we had that first fight, and coming back to apologize to him -- the amount of work that he puts in every single day. He walked the course -- he didn't even go out and physically walk the golf course, but he physically walked the course this morning, so he walked 36 holes today to make sure that we made the right decisions on certain holes, knowing that 5 and 13 were very, very difficult pin positions that you had to respect. I'm not sure if any other caddies walked. I'm sure there are. But stuff like that is what you get the edge. That's how you get the edge, from your guy walking courses and doing that extra little bit so you have that little bit more information that could possibly either make you play better and win tournaments or keep you in front.

Q. You also talked about you've always believed that you could do this, but you also said earlier this week that you kind of lacked self-belief. What was the turning point, really, in putting it all together?
JASON DAY: It was all upstairs. It's always upstairs to really understand yourself and this situation, all the experience that I've had over not only this past summer from the U.S. Open on, even from the Farmers, but all the good finishes I've had in major championships, putting that all together, playing the way I've been playing. But the last piece of the puzzle was for me to really think my way around what I needed to do, and the belief that I had in myself, it's slowly getting there. It was slowly getting to this point, and once it opened up, it was -- you know, I just felt like it was going to kind of be like what I was when I was a junior and an amateur where I just would walk on the golf green and feel like I was the best, and that's what it's starting to feel like right now.

JOHN BUSH: Congratulations once again, Jason Day.

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