Day's late bogeys prove costly
Jason Day was right where he wanted to be.
Then later, he was right where he’d been before.
With three consecutive birdies on the back nine, the 25-year-old Australian was at 9-under Sunday and in the lead at the Masters Tournament with three holes to play.
All Day had to do was finish par-par to possibly win his first major. He didn’t.
Bogeys at 16 and 17 dropped him to 7-under, two shots out of a playoff between 2009 champion Angel Cabrera and countryman Adam Scott. He could only watch as Scott became Australia’s first Masters champion with a birdie putt on the second playoff hole for the victory.
“Obviously, I think the pressure got to me a little bit,” Day said. “I haven’t had the lead too many times in majors. If you can have a shot in most majors, sooner or later you’re going to get one. I can’t look at the week as a disappointment.
‘‘Obviously, I’d love to wear the green jacket. I’ve been dreaming about it since I was a kid. I think I just have to take the experience and keep going on.”
The tournament was seemingly Day’s to lose after he got on his birdie run.
The flurry helped him overtake third-round co-leaders Cabrera and Brandt Snedeker, and No. 16 was a hole he had parred twice and birdied in the second round en route to the 36-hole lead.
On Sunday, it was the start of his downfall. Day hit his tee shot long and left and couldn’t get up and down. He followed by putting his approach in the bunker on 17 and again, couldn’t save par.
After finishing bogey-bogey in Saturday’s third round to fall out of a share for the lead, the late collapse this time cost him the title.
Day made an early charge to the top of the leaderboard with a birdie on No. 1 and then
an eagle on No. 2 when he holed his third shot from the bunker in front of the green. He dropped two shots with bogeys on 6 and 9, making the turn three behind Cabrera.
Day gave himself a chance for birdie on 18, but he missed a 15-footer, and Scott and Cabrera birdied 18.
Day shot 2-under 70 on Sunday to finish third in the tournament at 281.
“It was just a few little mental errors here and there,” Day said. “Overall, I’m very, very happy with the way I played and how things went this week.”