Day faces fight to keep PGA season alive
Australian former world No.1 Jason Day will attempt to stop his freefall down the rankings by keeping his US PGA Tour season alive at this week's BMW Championship in Chicago.
Once a dominant force on the US PGA Tour, Day recently fell out of the top 20 in the world rankings for the first time since mid 2013.
His 2019 campaign has had flashes of brilliance but a series of lacklustre results has the world No.22 fighting to avoid missing the Tour Championship play-offs finale for the first time since 2012.
It won't be easy, even for a 12-time US PGA Tour winner.
Day will need to finish at least fifth at the BMW to leap 20 spots on the FedEx Cup points standings and climb inside the top 30 who advance to next week's Tour Championship.
The 31-year-old will take on that challenge only days after parting ways with accomplished caddie Steve Williams.
On Sunday, the pair terminated their unsuccessful stint of six tournaments that delivered just one top-10 and two missed cuts.
Day will have fellow tour player and close friend David Lutterus on the bag at Chicago's Medinah Country Club.
"(Williams) is the ultimate pro and it was a real learning experience being exposed to a caddie who has achieved what Steve has," Day told AAP of the decision.
Widely popular among Australian sports fans, big-hitting Day's slide is tough to watch after seeing him join superstar Rory McIlroy as the most dominant world No.1s since Tiger Woods.
Day won seven US PGA Tour events in 17 starts during a blistering 2015-16 run.
Wowing fans with arguably the best short game in the sport, Day rocketed to No.1 and from March 2016 he held top spot for 47 consecutive weeks.
But Day went winless worldwide between May 2016 and January 2018.
He is in the midst of another winless drought, with his most recent victory coming in May last year - the second he earned in 2018.
However, Day's slump is not due to a lack of effort.
He says the biggest benefit of his tenure with caddie Williams, who also caddied for Woods, Greg Norman and Adam Scott, was rediscovering the drive to work as relentlessly as he did on the way to world No.1.
Day has had several hot results this year, sharing the 36-hole lead at the Masters.
He owns five top-10 results in 2019, including at Augusta National and the elite Players Championship, but has not lifted a trophy.
"I think (I have) had success, even though the results haven't really showed that," Day said recently.
"I'm working a lot harder at home and I think (I) am on the right path; I just have to stay positive and be patient because sooner or later it's going to click."
Day is hoping it clicks at the BMW, playing 18-hole practice rounds at Medinah on Monday and Tuesday.