He is taken time to reset and Baker-Finch believes he can put himself proper within the dialog at Winged Foot if he can keep away from the litany of traps and assessments that lurk round its demanding structure.
Baker-Finch, the winner of the British Open in 1991 and now certainly one of golf’s most revered tv analysts, has good kind in relation to choosing winners at Winged Foot. When it was final held there in 2006, he tipped one other Australian, Geoff Ogilvy, to salute, and he did simply that.
“I used to be doing the TV and the week earlier than, I stated ‘be careful for Ogilvy’ due to the way in which he was taking part in and the kind of course it was,” Baker-Finch stated. “He proved me proper.
“The massive factor there with the Aussies is it is actually powerful … and the Aussies normally do fairly nicely on powerful programs: slim fairways, very thick tough, tree-lined, which is constant to lots of our programs again residence, and very troublesome greens. They’re very quick, undulating greens.
“In case you’re not good across the greens and on the greens, it is very, very troublesome.”
Distance counts for a lot within the trendy recreation, however Winged Foot will severely punish those who go huge in addition to lengthy. That is why he believes Day, who has pared again his swing to accommodate his again constraints, could be a issue if he performs good and correct golf.
“He had these 4 actually good finishes in a row and he was getting his confidence again,” Baker-Finch stated. “For me, that was an enormous factor, as a result of it had been a very long time since he’d performed that nicely. Although he wasn’t again utterly, he may go and have just a few weeks off, work on his recreation.
“He is had a variety of care and he is been very cautious with it; he is been very affected person. I do know his docs and I do know he is been in good fingers. Do not attempt to be the longest hitter on the market any extra. Take a leaf out of Tiger’s ebook … tone it down and swing inside your self.
“The most important factor as of late is power, pace … athleticism is such an enormous a part of the sport. The additional you hit the ball, the higher. That all the time helped, however now it is obligatory. That is onerous for Jason, as a result of he is been one of many longest and quickest. He’ll need to dial again and be a bit extra cautious.
“I might simply inform him to maintain it out of the tough. Will probably be thick and fairly demanding. Per week of that, training out of the tough as nicely, that extreme tough may be fairly damaging to the physique. It is the identical for everybody, however in the event you do have a bit little bit of a problem, hold it out of the tough.”
Day just lately break up with long-time coach and mentor Col Swatton, but has been speaking with Tiger Woods about swing adjustments and managing back conditions. Woods was virtually compelled to retire earlier than returning to win one other Masters crown in 2019.
“I even have been speaking to Tiger about his swing and what he is been [through] – I believe he has one of the best swing on the market, particularly regarding the iron swing, it is wonderful,” Day stated final month.
“He is gone by means of some again points, and I believe he is doing a variety of good issues to try to alleviate his ache.”
Baker-Finch stated the same old suspects – Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas – are those to beat, however he looks like not solely Day however a number of the different Australian contingent could make their presence felt, together with Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith.
“I positively suppose so … I believe Scotty is taking part in properly and is an effective way of thinking,” Baker-Finch stated. “Leish is a big-time participant and has the kind of recreation that’s going to go well with and Smithy is excellent across the greens. You get him on a tricky golf course with powerful greens, I like his recreation as nicely.”
The US Open begins on Thursday.