I noticed something when the wheels came off Jason Day’s cart, and because I was watching live and couldn’t record the round, I had to wait for the video later to see if I’d actually seen what I thought I saw.
I am pretty sure that I got it right, although I initially thought that Day was standing with a closed stance to his target line, which for someone who stands square to the line for the most part, would cause either a right push or a pull hook depending on how you come into the ball (from the inside or over the top).
I tweeted it at the time, but deleted the tweet because it seems not that he was standing with a closed line to the target, but with his shoulders open to the target line – but since I don’t know where he was aiming, it could be either.
Let’s take a look at my first notice on the 12th – as Jason stood over the ball, I happened to glance at his feet and my thought was, “Wow, that’s a pretty closed stance,” because of the difference between that and his shoulder line.
However, seeing that the ball went exactly where his shoulders were pointing and that it was a pull-hook, when I drew the lines on where he would have been aiming based on trying to hit a draw down the right fairway – that was likely the correct foot line with a way open shoulder position, wouldn’t you say?
There is no way you’re going to hit a draw down the right side the way Day was set up – a high fade down the left is what it looked like he was going for, with a very closed foot-line.
Shoulders going left, and a very high right heel through impact (aggressive hip turn from the top), and you’re going to get “Fore Left!” all day long…
That was the first I noticed it, and then on the very next hole, I could have sworn I saw the exact same thing – that his foot line and shoulder line were no where near the same, and again, he yanked the ball left on his tee shot:
Now, I know that target and ball fight lines can be tough to judge based on the camera angle, especially when shooting down the line, but you can’t deny that Day’s shoulders above are not even close to being on the same line as his feet.
In fact, that stance line might even be drawn a little left of the actual line, because if you have more flare to the leading foot than the trailing, the leading toes will be further from the line (just slightly) than the trailing if the heels are parallel – and that would mean an even bigger difference between the shoulder line and actual aim line.
It’s just a shame that no one in his camp noticed this at the time, because he was in it until the 18th hole debacle, but even if he birdied 3 straight after the mid-back-nine chaos – he didn’t know where his ball was going off the tee for most of that back nine.
So, this is a great lesson for the lower-skilled golfers who watch the best in the world going at it – you can always fall out of your proper stance or mechanics, especially under pressure, and it’s crucial to both know what your proper stance and mechanics are (instead of changing them day to day), and to be aware of things like this when you start hitting the ball strangely.
I would hope that someone close to Day was looking at his setup when he began hitting everything left, and they well might have, but that stance and shoulder line stood out like a sore thumb as I idly watched Day setting up on the 12th hole.
I bailed on the coverage after the 14th tee, seeing how it had been four and a half hours since the leader teed off, and I simply lost interest in the proceedings, whatever was going on.
I did however catch Kisner’s water ball (the TV was still playing while I did other things), and I saw Day behind the tree on 18 at another point and wondered what on earth was going on with these guys.
Pressure will do a lot of negative things to your game, and when you get a little numb from the adrenaline, it’s easy to get out of sync with your setup and/or mechanics.
Always take care of the fundamentals!
I said yesterday that I was betting on either Day or Matsuyama to take it.
Hideki is still there, just one off Kisner’s lead after all 3 in the last group played a very shaky 3rd round with all coming in over par… Louis Oosthuizen is the only past major winner anywhere near the lead at -5, two strokes back so…
… gotta say it’s anyone’s game today, and although the winner is more apt than not to be in the group T4 and higher… likely to be a rock road to the finish!
PS – Happy International Left-Handed Day to all of my fellow sinister-sided people!
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