What a difference a Day makes
AFTER Jason Day sat in front of a press conference at Hyatt Regency Coolum four years ago and declared he wanted to be world No.1, he was pilloried for his arrogance.
When he did the same yesterday, it did not seem so absurd.
In 2007, Day created controversy when he faced the media ahead of the Australian PGA Championship and declared he wanted to knock the then-seemingly invincible Tiger Woods from his perch.
It was seen as the height of hubris coming from a young man who had only recently earned his PGA tour card.
Day, 24, is now considered one of the game's brightest prospects. The world No.8 put himself on the map this year with his second placings at the US Masters and the US Open and finished outside the top 25 in just nine of his 21 starts on this year's PGA Tour.
Since his infamous gaffe, Day said he had learnt to be more careful with his words, but he still harboured the same ambition.
"You can say anything about getting to the top, taking someone down or being the best you can be at such a young age and obviously it can be taken a totally different way," he said.
"You know back then I was very young, I really didn't know how to handle myself when it came to talking publicly with the media.
"I feel like I have learnt a lot over the year. It has been a good learning curve over the last four or five years, being on the PGA tour and dealing with the media.
"Like I said back then, it has always been my ambition to get to the No.1 spot. I have a long way to go. It's small steps. It's a slow process and I need to keep working hard."
DAY credited his fine form over the last 12 months to finding an inner peace off the course.
A self-described introvert, he said he was most happy in a hammock in the seclusion of his home in country Ohio.
He said his decision to purchase and live in a camper van while on tour with his wife, Ellie, had also helped him stay grounded while on the road.
"A happy life off the course is a happy life on the course," he said.
"I think for me, I get very stressed out if things aren't right off the course. I get very stressed and it goes into my game on the course.
"It has been a good year.
"It has just been me and Ellie. We have a tour bus and we travel around.
"It's been a fun year for us and everything has been great off the course and we have really enjoyed ourselves and that has gone into my game on the course.
"This year I pretty much changed the way I look at things.
"I don't know what it is but I'm just enjoying myself a lot more."