Jason Day has never won the U.S. Open, but he’s come close; he finished tied for second in both 2011 and 2013 and had five top 10s in the event.
Steve Williams might be able to help the 31-year-old Australian break through. Golf Digest confirmed Monday that the veteran caddy will be on Day’s bag at Pebble Beach for this week’s U.S. Open.
Williams, of course, won 13 major championships caddying for Tiger Woods and helped Adam Scott win the 2013 Masters. Williams supposedly retired in 2017, so his appearance this week at Pebble Beach with Day turned some heads.
Day, the No. 16 ranked golfer in the world, said Tuesday at a U.S. Open media conference that it’s not a one-off deal. Williams will caddy for him going forward, replacing Luke Reardon.
Day admitted that he has “underachieved” so far in his career, but Williams can help him.
“(I have) underachieved, yeah. Severely underachieved, I think,” Day said. “And granted, I have to work on a few things, mentally and physically, with regards to my golf game. But I think I’ve underachieved up until now. I feel like I’ve got a game that when it’s on, I can win most tournaments. And the big thing for me is to go ahead and believe that and have trust in my abilities that I can do that.
“And now that I have Steve on the bag, I think hopefully that will flourish and I can make winning more of a habit.
Day, a 12-time winner on the PGA Tour, said the 55-year-old Williams brings a wealth of “old school” experience.
“It’s nice to have someone with experience, that has unbelievable experience in major championships, and also, on top of it, have the experience of that winning pedigree with regards to the players that he’s been with,” Day said. “I mean you just have to look at the players that he’s with, and it just kind of almost, to a certain degree, puts your mind at ease knowing that he knows what he’s doing. He’s very old school. If you take a young guy these guys, we work a lot with ups and downs, and he is very much sort of a feel guy.
“So there’s a little bit of communication that obviously needs to be done. But he’s got an amazing history around a golf course like this. And he’s been doing it for a very, very long time. He’s very positive. I feel like ever since I put him on the – he started on the bag, I’ve worked a lot harder. And that’s what I want to see.”
Williams definitely knows the Pebble Beach course, having helped Woods win the U.S. Open in 2000 by a major-championship-record 15 strokes. And Day knows the course well, too. Beyond those aforementioned second-place finishes, he tied for second in the Pebble Beach Pro Am last year and tied for fourth this year. Regardless of what happens this week in the U.S. Open, Day believes Williams can do great things for his career.
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“To have someone like Steve on the bag is very instrumental in my career with regards to where I want to go and the trajectory I want,” Day said. “I also think that there’s a lot to learn off a guy that’s been out here for a very, very long time, who has caddied for Tiger Woods for 13 years, who caddied for Greg Norman for a lot of years, Raymond Floyd, the list goes on. Adam Scott. These are some tremendous – best players of their generation, of all time.
“I told Steve, ‘Look, I want to – my goal is to get back to No. 1 in the world. But I want to do everything I possibly can to get there. If I need to do whatever you need to tell me, I’ll do it.’ He said that being No. 1, there’s a lot of sacrifice that comes along with that. And we both understand what that means.”