It was not a surprise. What it means is still a shock.
Last week Jason Day withdrew from the Memorial Tournament due to a back injury. “While my body has been great recently I tweaked my back on Monday,” Day said in a statement, “and while we tried to get it right over the last few days, ultimately I felt the best decision was not to put it at further risk.”
Entering Muirfield Village No.69 in the World Rankings, Day needed a strong performance to move into the top 60 and earn a spot in the US Open. His decision to drop out, many believed, signalled an end to Day’s Major streak. He had been exempt for every Major since the 2010 US Open, missing only the 2012 Open Championship due to his wife’s pregnancy.
However, while Day had previously said he would not attempt to play through final US Open qualifying (citing a scheduling conflict with a sponsor), he was still listed last week as a participant in Monday’s Columbus qualifier, leaving hope a last second entry could be had. Alas, Day was off the tee sheet at the Columbus qualifer Sunday night, and barring an unheard of special exemption from the USGA, Day’s Major run comes to an end.
The 2015 PGA champ and former World No.1 has struggled to recapture past glory due to lingering back issues. Not only have they taken a toll on his physicality, but those problems limit the amount of practice Day can put in. Last year he revealed he had undergone procedures to relieve some of the pain located in his lower back.
Day had competed in the past 10 US Opens, boasting two runner-ups and a T-4. He’s also enjoyed success at Torrey Pines, host of this year’s US Open, with two victories at the Farmers Insurance Open and three other top-10 finishes.