Jason Day has made no secret about his desire to walk in Tiger Woods' footsteps, but clutching his back and crying out in pain during his 3-and-2 win over Graeme McDowell on Day 1 of the WGC-Dell Match Play was certainly not what he had in mind.
As part of the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play, Dell decided it was time to bring golf into the streets and let Match Play users play golf while exploring Austin, Texas in the process.
I used to come back here and stay on my buddies couches when I came back, he said. He stepped gingerly into a bunker.
He quickly left the course for treatment, with manager Bud Martin later issuing a statement saying Day was hopeful of playing on at the Austin Country Club.
Jason Day's injury curse has resurfaced at a bad time, casting a cloud over his fitness just two weeks out from the Masters.
Donaldson birdied No. 13, the high-risk, high-reward hole that runs parallel to the Lake Austin shore, cutting Spieth's lead to two shots.
Fortunately for Day, he was able to par the 570-yard 16th and end his on-course misery.
On the opening day of the WGC Match Play Championship Rory McIlroy summoned the spirit of recovery which defines a champion.
The severity of the injury was unclear.
The world number two declined to stop and chat with reporters but his agent later said Day expected to play his next match on Thursday.
Day did tell the Australian Associated Press as he headed for treatment that he felt "searing pain" in both sides of his lower back.
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There was no need to worry about Spieth. He scratched out a par on the 16th hole and won his match, 3 and 2.
Spieth takes on Frenchman Victor Dubuisson today.
In what may have seemed like a nice touch - but I feel is just asking for users to fling phones down busy streets - you can hit your virtual golf ball by swinging your phone like a real club. And Jamie, I'm not sure what he would say about it.... "They weren't cheering when putts were missed, everyone was very respectful, but every step I took, somebody was yelling or cheering "Hook'em Horns" or 'Go Jordan, ' which is really, really cool".
Haas recorded his second straight win of the event with a 4&2 win over Belgian Thomas Pieters. Players and caddies wore black ribbons in their caps to honor the victim of Tuesday's bombings in Brussels.
One player from the 16 four-man groups advances to the weekend and the knockout stage. It might be easier this year because there are halves during group play.
The top-ranked player in the world and No. 1 seed in the Dell Match Play, Jordan Spieth still needed a boost after a recent dip in form. Dufner was up by two holes when he clinched the match. Casey has finished runner-up in this event twice.
Day's career has been filled with injuries. But last fall, Day withdrew from the pro-am at the Barclays due to a back injury before going on to win the tournament. He is the Masters and U.S. Open champion and No. 1 in the world.
Over the past five years he has missed tournaments through back, ankle, wrist and thumb injuries as well as others with illness and vertigo. While McDowell tried to make his putt to continue the match, Day went down to his knees to watch.
Spieth, the former Texas Longhorn and crowd favorite at Austin Country Club, wound up in the same group as longtime friend Justin Thomas.