ATLANTA — Jason Day is trying to avoid looking too far into numbers this week at the Tour Championship. He will begin the season finale at East Lake sitting one under par and nine shots behind FedEx Cup leader Scottie Scheffler. But another number is perhaps more pressing—it’s only 12 days until Day’s wife, Ellie, is due to give birth to the couple’s fifth child.
Day, 35, has missed tournaments for the birth of his children, including the 2012 Open Championship when first-born son Dash arrived. He’s also missed FedEx Cup Playoffs events before through injury, like the 2016 BMW and Tour Championship when he was ranked World No. 1 and almost as high in the FedEx Cup.
Fortunately for the Australian, he’s caught a break this year. He’s healthy, and the due date for baby No. 5 is not until September.
But it’s still in the back of Day’s mind. “I think Arrow came two weeks early,” he said of their third child, who followed Dash and Lucy and came before Oz, who was born in June 2021.
“I’m just hoping that Ellie holds out another week or two weeks and I can be there and spend some time with my family,” Day said. “I think if this was my first [child], I’d be a little bit more nervous about it.”
The couple discussed the idea of Day dashing home to Ohio during the Tour Championship if the situation arose but Ellie but his mind at ease.
“She said, ‘You’re not likely to make it back in time if I do go into labor,” he said. “We’re having a home birth. She said I may as well just play the tournament and try to win.”
Winning, though, won’t be easy because of the other number Day faces in Atlanta—the nine-shot deficit. Despite winning the Byron Nelson for his 13th PGA Tour title earlier this year, and finishing tied second at the Open Championship last month, Day is tied for 21st on the adjusted Tour Championship leaderboard.
For a quick refresh, FedEx Cup leader Scheffler begins at 10 under par, while No. 2 Viktor Hovland starts at eight under and the scores regress one stroke until players 6-10 start at four under; players 11-15 at three under; players 16-20 start at two under; players 21-25 start at one under; and players 26-30 start at even par.
Reeling in Scheffler, the World No. 1, would take a special week.
“I’ve got to play some of the best golf have ever played and I need a little bit of help, too,” said Day, who had five top-10s in eight starts before his Byron Nelson win. “It’s nice in a sense that at nine shots back, you can just go out and play and not have to worry about being around the lead. I’m hoping to rekindle some of that form and iron play from earlier this year and continue to drive it well.”
And if he can’t, there’s a pretty good silver lining. “I’m pretty excited for our family to grow,” Day said.