US-based golf star Jason Day needs to spend more time home in Australia to maximise his chances of winning a major, according to Jack Newton.
Jack Newton has urged Jason Day to spend more time in Australia as the three-time major runner-up strives to take his golf to the next level.
Newton rates Day the most technically gifted player he’s seen in 30 years of helping to nurture Australia’s juniors and is convinced the world No.11 can join Adam Scott as a major champion.
But Newton, a great of Australian golf, says it’s vital the US-based 26-year-old doesn’t become too Americanised.
Married to an American and living in Ohio with his wife and one-year-old son, Day played the Australian Open last month for only the third time in his career.
The Queenslander finished equal fifth after winning the World Cup of Golf the week before at Royal Melbourne, confirming to Newton he has the game to win on any style of course anywhere on the planet.
“Jason Day is a wonderful player,” Newton told AAP.
“I have (hosted) an international (junior) tournament here that I’ve been doing since the mid-80s.
“So I’ve seen all the best players from Karrie Webb to Adam Scott.
“You name it, they’ve all played in it, and I think Jason Day is technically the best junior I’ve seen come through.
“And at 26, he’s also knocking on the door for a major. He could have easily won the last two Masters.
“The big occasion seems to gel with him and quite often that’s an issue for people, whether they don’t believe in themselves enough or they don’t quite have the technical capabilities but he’s certainly got that.”
Newton’s biggest concern is Day losing his Australian roots.
“As long as he doesn’t get too full of the American BS,” he said.
“You’ve got to come back and get a good dose of Australia into you and recharge your batteries and go back.
“Because when you’re there, it’s a numbers game and they’re playing golf courses which suit the Americans.”
According to Day, Newton need not worry, saying he’s as Aussie as Vegemite and promising to return to Australia more often.
“I’m never going to become a stranger, mate,” he said at Royal Sydney last month.
“I miss it a lot. I really want to be able to take my kids down here. I really enjoy the summer down here when it’s winter back home.
“My family’s still here, my mum and my sisters. I definitely want to be back here a lot more.
“I miss coming back and playing in front of the home crowd.”
While Newton thinks Day is a major winner in waiting, he also agrees with Greg Norman that 33-year-old world No.2 Scott can kick on from his Masters triumph last April to become Australia’s greatest-ever player.
“I think he can because I was always told by people I respected that Australian golfers don’t come good until they’re 30,” Newton said.
“Their best time is 30 to 40 because we’re an island and to develop your game you have to go away somewhere – Asia, England, Ireland.
“I haven’t seen anything to change that thought that quite a lot of smart old blokes said to me.
“Both Adam and Jason are on the right trip by the look of it.”