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February 7, 2020

Jason Day

Pebble Beach, California

JACK RYAN: We would like to welcome Jason Day to the interview room here at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Jason, as it stands right now, tied for second place. Obviously, must be pleased with the position you put yourself in going into the weekend.

JASON DAY: Yeah, we obviously have one more round to go before the cut is made and then we're back on Pebble again. And I think getting in a nice round like that today, especially getting out early and we had about 15 holes or so without any wind pretty much, which was nice. And then kind of did a 180 with the breeze and then started coming back into us on 18. But overall, I was very, very happy with how the game was today.

JACK RYAN: Four top-5s in the last five years here for you. What is it about Pebble Beach and any other courses in the rotation that you like so much?

JASON DAY: I enjoy, I always enjoy going out and playing Monterey Peninsula because it is a pretty golf course to play. It's a different style of golf over there than it is over at Pebble and Spyglass. Spyglass is one of those golf courses where you just kind of got to get through with a decent round and then you can kind of make it up. If you have really good weather, you can go low at Pebble. But I don't know why I play well here. It's -- I would like to change having the Top-5's. I would like to win. That's the main goal is to try and win one. But I've played very well here. I love everything about Pebble and the landscape that all three golf courses that are on. I enjoy going to Carmel, which is just right next to Pebble. The people are great up here, so I really enjoy my time every time I come back here. So we have had great weather thus far and we're going to have some pretty breezy conditions over the next couple days.

JACK RYAN: Open it up for questions.

Q. Can you detail 14, the clubs you hit, how far?
JASON DAY: The par-5?

Q. Yeah.
JASON DAY: Yeah, so I, if you hit it on the chimney off the tee that's a decent line, but I hit it on the chimney, but I absolutely smoked it. I was trying to go at least 30 yards further right so you can get over the bunker and have an iron into that green. I had 275 yards to the hole or so. I was, if I hit iron I was going to hit a flier. If I hit a full 3-wood I feel like, I felt like I was going to hit a flier. I was trying to just run something up there, but ended up hitting the shot a little low punch 3-wood and it came out kind of, it didn't come out like a fan, but it was more, it just came out soft. But I set myself up in decent position knowing that you could hit that chip. But you got to be careful because if you don't quite catch that chip, even though they have kind of flattened it out a bit, it will still roll back down if you don't get it up there. That's why Jim, ahead of me, which we were right next to each other, he hit it about 10 to 15 feet behind the hole and I ended up chipping in and that was nice.

Q. How are far was it and what club did you use?
JASON DAY: I don't know how far the wedge was. It was more of a feel shot. It was a 60 degree. And the thing is, is that you just kind of want to kind of kill it into that slope, get one bouncing up and, then once it lands on top then it starts to check a little bit and then it will roll out.

Q. And you said that it's about time you putted halfway decently today. You said you putted well today. I've seen you in the past talk about putting for three, four hours a day in practice rounds. Now you can't do that anymore. How have you changed your way that you approach getting your putting ready for a tournament?
JASON DAY: So I've literally had to cut everything -- like, I got to up to an hour of putting last week, which was great. I mean, the week prior was 30 minutes. So, but saying that, I've cut everything in half and the level of concentration over the putts in practice has gone up. So I shouldn't say -- like, I hit a lot of practice putts beforehand like I mean, I hit maybe 200-plus putts that would take up to two to two and a half hours. And I was concentrating. But now instead of hitting that many putts, I do half of it and then now I double-read it like I'm actually reading out on the golf course and it's pretty much 100 percent fully focused in. So it's an hour of really solid putting. So long story short, hopefully that kind of lowering the reps and upping the concentration hopefully will kind of even itself out.

Q. To continue with the putting stuff. Nick Faldo said on the broadcast that you have the most solid putting style on TOUR. Where is the comfort level at the moment with the short stick?
JASON DAY: It's funny because out here you can kind of, with all the foot traffic that you get on the golf courses you can get a few bounces that are unlucky and lucky bounces. And I said earlier, I got interviewed out on the golf course by PGA TOUR Live today, I just holed a putt, and you just got to go in there, read the putt, and honestly, you're just trying to pick your speed, pick your line, and just hit the putt. And whatever you can control, you can control, like, with regards to your putting. But overall, I think the putter switch from the black putter to the red putter, as we were discussing yesterday, I think has helped a lot with being able to line my putter up to where I feel like is where I can actually start it. Before, with the black Spider, I was putting in the putter and it looked like it was always aiming left and I was missing everything left. And obviously, you start losing confidence with the putter pretty quickly. But now I feel pretty good over it.

Q. With the way your back is and what you have to do to prepare yourself to play, is your schedule going to be slightly altered this year? Are you going to try and maybe pick your spots more judiciously or can you even afford to knowing you have to score --
JASON DAY: Contractually, I would like to shorten it, but I can't (laughing). You know what, it's been, I've been very blessed to be able to play this many years out here, so I'm trying to be as disciplined as I can to extend my career for even longer because I actually I really enjoy this game. I love this game. It's given me so much. I've met a lot of great people. Been sitting in front of you guys for a long time now and it's been --

Q. Poor man.
JASON DAY: Yeah (laughing). It's been an absolute pleasure to be able to sit and make friends with you guys. But the way that my back is, I've just got to manage it every day. So I'm up early and we're trying to manage it, but it usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get myself ready. And after, I'm doing stuff after, so it's kind of it's more of a lifestyle now. But I understand. That's just how it goes, so I got to, I just got to do what needs to be done to try and win tournaments.

Q. I am curious about the balloon exercise because, and I've read quite a bit and you've talked about it a little bit, but I'm curious, what do you do for the 30 minutes while you're blowing into a balloon?
JASON DAY: I'm not saying -- you're giving me crap now and I know last week at the Vintage Club too.

Q. Because you have to concentrate to be able to do that for 30 minutes --
JASON DAY: A hundred percent.

Q. -- because it sounds extremely boring.
JASON DAY: Mind you, you feel self-conscious because you're in the gym blowing up balloons and no one else is blowing up balloons. So long story short, I'm not a doctor, but this is kind of how we worked it out, my trainer, Kevin Duffy, who is in the U.K. and he comes over on the TOUR. And he's actually going to be with me next week. It's called PRI, but how it works is you kind of throw your rib cage and your pelvic floor -- this is funny -- my rib cage, if I stood with my shirt off, my rib cage always faces right. So I'm trying, through balloons, blowing into them, I could do it without it, and I'm trying to hold a certain position and get my rib cage back into position, but through blowing up a balloon it actually pressurizes everything for you, because if you don't hold that breath and exhale out, it honestly feels like you're suffocating. That's the feeling that I'm trying to get.

Q. And I mean, you're literally -- I'm curious and I'm not trying to make fun of it or anything, but I mean, that seems very hard to do for that amount of time, so I mean --
JASON DAY: Yeah, yeah, I've got really good at farm animals and, you know, all these other, swords and stuff like that. If you need a kids' party, I can do it for you. But, no, it, it's not like -- I would say it's like 10 to 15 minutes of it and then from there it's kind of just making sure that my thoracic is mobile and I'm not getting, I'm not turning from my lower back, because that's really kind of why a lot of golfers have back problems because they get too tight in the thoracic and then they get tight hips and then they get their rotation through their lower back.

Q. When you've been deprived of the ability to compete at the level that you want to compete at, what's the feeling you have on a day like today climbing the leaderboard?
JASON DAY: Yeah, it's, I feel like it's been a long -- I feel like it's been a long time since I've actually been out there and felt the way that I felt out there today and played well like that. You're very thankful to be able -- because it's hard because you compete week-in and week-out and you expect so much of yourself, and everyone does, but sometimes when you're injured, like for the most part I was all last year, it's just, it gets frustrating. And not only do you get frustrated, you don't get the results and you lose confidence and then you're not almost pointing fingers, you're just trying to find a solution into why I'm not playing well and why is this happening. And you feel like your world is kind of crumbling around yourself, especially as an athlete who has played, who plays injured. And it's not a good feeling because there's some dark moments in there that you got to kind of fight through. Yeah, and like, I mean, all last year I was, I would sit there and think, Okay, I don't know how much I can kind of push myself through this. Am I going to -- like because I thought maybe I'll re-evaluate things at 40. And I'm like, Okay, if I can kind of push it to 35 then that would be good. But those are the things that go along in your head -- as you're an injured player, you think, maybe my time is just coming around the corner and I might have to rack the clubs. And that's a really terrible way of seeing it because I am only 32.

Q. Two things. One, to clarify. Did you at some point there think that you might have to just give up the game?
JASON DAY: I was, for a moment there, when I was playing, I was playing bad golf and I was also injured, like there's a stretch from kind of like THE PLAYERS up until now where I was really playing well. I just, I honestly felt like I probably -- and I've talked to my wife about this a lot. I'm like, I think I'm nearly done here, just because of how much pain I was in. And then on top of it how stressful it is to play competitive golf week-in and week-out and try and live up to the expectations not only with yourself, but with what everyone else thinks that you should be doing.

Q. Not knowing -- coming back, not knowing exactly what you can or can't do probably yet, completely, what kind of expectations do you have at all for this year?
JASON DAY: Well, I feel pretty good right now and my practice has significantly gone up, which is nice. The amount of hours I'm talking about. So if I can stay disciplined on what I'm trying to do rehab-wise and stay healthy, then I don't have to worry about being injured and I don't have to worry about something going out and that hindering my level of play. And I'm just hoping to build on good results which will give me confidence and hopefully by then I can win maybe one, two or three tournaments this year.

Q. Just to add to that, has it made you appreciate being out here a little bit more? Because you look like this week you've had maybe more fun on the golf course than you've had in a while.
JASON DAY: Yeah, and typically I don't play practice rounds here, but I played nine holes at Spyglass on Monday, then I played 18 at Pebble with a bunch of buddies and then played another nine holes at Spyglass with a bunch of buddies. And usually I come here, I don't play any practice rounds I just do a little bit of practice and kind of enjoy myself. But it's been a lot more enjoyable, because I see familiar faces here and then on top of it, it's just, I'm trying to make things a little bit more fun and light. Because sometimes, when you're going through a tough trot like I've been going through, sometimes working hard is not the solution. Sometimes just relaxing and trying to get out of your own way and just letting it unfold, and even though you need to still work hard, but what I'm saying is just don't be so involved in it and make it your whole world, just kind of take a step back, still do your work but just kind of enjoy yourself and sooner or later, through enjoying it, you start to get that love again and through the love of it you start to practice more and having a good time and now hopefully the results will kind of pay off.

JACK RYAN: All right, Jason, we appreciate the time and best of luck this week.

JASON DAY: Thank you.

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