Jason Day is in a familiar position, leading a big time golf tournament – this one being the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Day is at 4-under par after two rounds, 1-stroke up on David Lingmerth.
But it wasn’t always this way for the current number one golfer in the world.
Here’s a quick look at how Jason Day became, well, Jason Day.
1. Aussie Born
Day is from Queensland, Australia. His deceased father, Alvin, was of Aussie-Irish heritage, while his mom, Dening, is from the Philippines. He has two sisters, Yanna, and Kim.
2. First Custom Made Golf Club
Today Jason Day has custom golf clubs designed by some of the best engineers in the world at TaylorMade. But Day’s very first custom made golf club was a 3-wood chopped down by his father, who found it in a trash can. Quite an amazing journey.
3. Early Tragedy
Day’s father was reportedly an alcoholic and died from stomach cancer when Jason was only 12 years-old. This caused a young Jason to rebel and “lose his way.”
4. A Mother’s Love and a Life-long Friend
Day’s mother, sensing Jason was on the wrong path, placed him into a boarding school soon after the death of his father. The school had a golf course attached to its campus. It is here where Jason met a teacher named Colin Swatton who has been by Jason’s side ever since. Today Colin he is Day’s caddie.
5. Jason Meets Ellie
Day met his wife Ellie in an Ohio restaurant in 2005 when he was only 17 years-old. Day was a rising amateur star and traveling with his golf coach, the aforementioned Colin Swanton. Swanton was in town to assist a friend who was starting up a golf academy in Twinsburg, OH. Ellie was enrolled in school, and working part time as a waitress. She was just 19 at the time.
6. Day, the PGA Tour Member
Day’s PGA Tour career launched in 2007, at only 19 years-old. He played on the Nationwide Tour and won his very first event at Stonewater Golf Club in Highland Heights, Ohio – where he bumped into Ellie again. Day went on to earn his PGA Tour card for the 2008 season.
7. First Date at Applebees, New Family in Ohio
After his Stonewater win, a 20 year-old Ellie drove out to Columbus to watch him in another Nationwide tournament. Afterwards, they went on their very first date — dinner at Applebee’s, followed by a movie, with Colin as a third wheel. The two remained in contact via text, and would eventually marry in 2009, Day’s second full year on the PGA Tour. Jason, Ellie, along with son Dash (2012), and daughter Lucy (2015), make their home in Dublin, Ohio – where Ellie’s extended family resides.
8. No Overnight Star
It wasn’t until Day’s third season on the PGA Tour that Day picked up his first win. On May 23, 2010 Day won the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
9. Bright Day at Augusta
Day’s coming out party happened in 2011 at the Masters. Day was tied for the lead on a number of occasions before eventually finishing in a tie for second to winner Charl Schwartzel. Day followed up this impressive performance at Augusta with another second place finish at Congressional in the 2011 U.S. Open. Day had finally arrived as a major threat.
10. But Not Easy
Despite strong showings, Day was winless for 45 months, following his first PGA Tour event. His second tour win came at the WGC-Accenture Match play on February 23, 2014.
11. The Day We Know
Day, as the world’s number one truly launched in the 2015 season with an early win at the Farmers Insurance Open in February. Starting in July of last year, Day ripped off seven wins in just 10 months, all at big events — RBC Canadian Open (7/15), PGA Championship (8/15), The Barclays (8/15), BMW Championship (9/15), Arnold Palmer Invitational (3/16), WGC-Dell Match Play (3/16), and The Players Championship (5/16). (If Day wins the WGC-Bridgestone, that will be 8 wins in less than 12 months. That’s Tigeresque.)
12. Cleveland Collision
Ellie became a social media celebrity of sorts this past year. And not for some photo op green-side while at one of Jason’s big golf wins. This was for being court-side at a Cavs home game. In December of 2015 LeBron James collided with Ellie while attempting to retrieve a loose ball. The mother of two, and wife of the world’s #1 golfer, was placed on a stretcher and rushed to a local hospital. She lived to joke about it on Twitter.