The Golfer of the Year – an award Ballesteros won on three occasions in 1986, ‘88 and ‘91 – is voted for by the golf media. He beat off competition from Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Rookie of the Year Jon Rahm...
World Cup of Golf: Double Victory for Day
Jason Day put in a great individual and team shift to steer Australia to victory in the World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne.
Day closed out his first win on home soil with a one-under 70 in the final round for a 10-under-par total and two-shot margin over Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn.
In what was an emotional win for the 26-year-old, who came into the event still tussling with the news of losing eight relatives including his grandmother, uncle and six young cousins in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.
Day’s mother, Dening, travelled to Melbourne to watch her son outplay Bjorn, who bogeyed the last as Day sunk a wonderful par to earn himself the $1.2 million winners’ cheque.
After the game, emotional Day said: "It's just been an amazing tournament for me. My mother, my family, coming down to support me. I'm just so happy the hard work has paid off, and I'm glad it happened in Melbourne.”
He added: "The biggest thing right now is to know that I just didn't give up. It would have been the easiest thing for me to just go ahead and pull out of the tournament with what has been going on over the last week - just to be up there with my mum and support her.
"But I really wanted to come down here and play with Adam (Scott) and really try to win the World Cup and we achieved that which was great."
Overnight leader by a stroke from Bjorn, Day traded two bogeys and two birdies in his first five holes before racing clear of his playing partner when he holed an approach on the first bounce for an eagle on the short par-four sixth.
Four strokes ahead, the Queenslander stumbled on the par-four 10th with a double-bogey after hitting into scrub left of the fairway, allowing Bjorn to pounce onto a share of the lead with birdies on the 11th and 13th, the latter of which coming courtesy of a fantastic approach shot that settled a foot from the pin.
Bjorn, 42, was left to rue a wayward tee-shot on the tricky par-four 16th landed in the woods right off the fairway and led to a bogey.
Day had a few wobbles and pushed his approach into a wide greenside bunker but then pulled off a sublime up-and-down, lading his recovery seven feet from the pin and dragging the tough downhill putt to take a one-stroke lead with two holes left to play.
Bjorn’s challenge ended decisively when a wayward approach on the par-four 18th led to a bogey, allowing Day the space to flex his muscles and take a pressure-free par-putt to clinch the win for his country.