Jason Day back at John Deere Classic – and with a funny Super 8 story to tell

Jason Day back at John Deere Classic – and with a funny Super 8 story to tell
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Jason Day is making his 351st PGA Tour start at this week’s John Deere Classic.

His first career start also came at TPC Deere Run; that was 18 years ago, in 2006, when an 18-year-old Day, as a newly minted pro, tied for 67th.

So, what does Day remember most about that debut?

“I think we might have stayed down at the Super 8 hotel somewhere,” Day said Wednesday during his pre-tournament press conference, which was moderated by Tour media official Doug Milne, who stayed in the same hotel as Day that week.

“Oh, good memory,” Milne chimed in.

“I think back then your AC unit fell out the wall,” Day added.

Milne: “I had the dog come into my room on my bed. I literally woke up with a dog on my bed.”

Day: “Then my caddie at the time, Colin [Swatton], you walk into his room and it had a heart-shaped bathtub right next to the bed. It was like high-rent stuff back then. … I walked in there [my room] and tried to close my curtains. My curtain fell off – it broke off, and I’m like, well, I guess I’m waking up at butt crack of dawn now. Good memories, man.”

Now 36, Day is returning to Silvis, Illinois, for his first Deere since 2011. In five previous career starts at TPC Deere Run, Day never missed the cut and posted a pair of T-15 finishes.

Day fell as low as No. 175 in the world rankings back in late 2022, but he climbed back inside the top 20 earlier this year and enters this week at No. 28, more than good enough to earn another Olympics berth. Day bypassed his chance to compete in 2016 but is planning on competing for Australia in Paris.

“Looking back on it, I probably should have gone to Rio and played,” Day said. “I think it’s something bigger than yourself. You’re actually representing your country and your sport. As an Australian, the Olympics is a big thing because we’re a big sporting nation.

“To get another turn at it I feel very grateful for it.”

Day said Wednesday that he will play The Open at Royal Troon in Scotland and then fly back home to Ohio for a week before heading to Paris. He’ll then have another week off before the FedExCup Playoffs start. He’s currently No. 28 in points as he continues to battle for a top-50 spot and exemptions into all of next year’s signature events.

Safe to say, when you’re playing for $20 million purses (this week’s Deere is only $8 million), the days of staying in Super 8s are long gone.

Day is staying in his RV this week with his wife, Ellie, and their five children.

“I’m in my bus, yeah,” Day said.

“You got room?” Milne asked, jokingly.

Day: “I do, but you’re going to be sleeping next to my kids.”

No stray dogs at least.

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