Jason Day had a tumultuous start to the 2019 Masters after aggravating a back injury on the eve of the first round of play. Day bent down to pick up his daughter as he was practicing at Augusta when his back gave out.
“No, my back is good,” Day said on Wednesday, per ESPN. “I was carrying my little daughter and hitting golf shots in the par-3 and everything is good. There’s no pain.”
Day is a month removed from withdrawing from the Arnold Palmer Invitational during the first round of play after his back would not allow him to continue playing, per ESPN.
Day withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March after hurting his back after only six holes in the first round. Day said an MRI revealed that he had an annular tear between the L4 and L5 vertebrae and additional facet joint problems.
Day is a co-leader heading into the weekend so the injury does not appear to be having a negative impact on his play. Day noted that the injury may be a blessing in disguise.
“Augusta National, the Masters, everything that goes on this week, how big it is, and the distraction of wanting to win this tournament so bad, and sometimes it is almost a blessing in disguise,” Day told The New York Times. “It just brings down the expectations of going out there and trying too hard.”
Day Went to Disney With His Family After Withdrawing From the Arnold Palmer Invitational
Day drew criticism after he was spotted at Disney with his family just one day after withdrawing from the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The New York Times detailed how Day was looking to stretch out his back as his family went on rides.
Day and his wife, Ellie, took their three young children to Disney World the next day, and a family photograph ended up on social media. That drew criticism from people who wondered how he could pull out of a golf tournament one day, only to show up at an amusement park the next.
Day said later that he didn’t go on any rides but walked around the park to loosen his back, with the blessing of his doctors. Speaking before his next start, the Players Championship, where he tied for eighth, Day explained why he ignored the opinions of those outside his inner circle.
Day Initially Thought He Was Going to Have to Withdraw From the Masters
After tweaking his back again at Augusta, Day initially thought he was going to have to withdraw once again. The New York Post noted a conversation Day had with his caddie, Luke Reardon.
“If this stays the same pain as it was on the putting green, I’ll probably end up withdrawing.’’ Day said, per The New York Post.
Day’s routine includes blowing into balloons as a way to alleviate pain.
“This is going to sound really weird,” Day told The New York Post. “My rib cage is out of position … so I blow into balloons in certain positions to try and get my ribcage down. I flew down to Florida this last week, and I met my trainer and we’re in the pilot’s lounge of this (airport) and there’s two pilots sitting next to me and I’m laying on the ground blowing these balloons up.”