PGA Tour

Day rides wave of confidence

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Jason Day (AFP)
Jason Day (AFP)

Pebble Beach - Jason Day, whose Torrey Pines triumph on Sunday propelled him to number four in the world, will try to build on that this week at the demanding Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Day showed considerable composure to hold on for a nail-biting win at the second hole of a four-man playoff at Torrey Pines.

The 27-year-old overtook Adam Scott to become the highest-ranked Australian and could climb as high as number two in the world with victory in the $6.8 million US PGA Tour event.

Although his confidence is sky-high, Day said he wouldn't get ahead of himself.

"Overall, I'm trying to keep this confidence high going," he said. "It would be nice to go back-to-back, but I know it's going to be very difficult, but we'll see how it goes."

The week on the Monterey Peninsula in California is always a tricky one.

The first three rounds of the tournament are played on three courses -- Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill and the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club -- before Sunday's final round at Pebble Beach.

In addition, the pros team up with amateurs from the worlds of business, entertainment and sports.

Day said he finds the sometimes distracting format fun, although he acknowledged that he wouldn't even bother to play a practice round since there's "too much ground to cover" with so many courses in play.

He's even more pleased with that plan this year, since it gave him some time to rest after his tense win down the coast at La Jolla.

"I think rest is more important in the first two days of this week than any other time because obviously after a win you're very mentally tired," Day said.

"So around these kinds of courses, if the wind's up a little bit, or even if especially at Pebble, it's a very difficult course, if it's blowing.

"So you've got to have the mental energy there to kind of grind it out.

"We're out there for six, six-and-a-half hours a day for a round. It can be mentally tiring on yourself."

The field includes defending champion Jimmy Walker, whose win here last year was the third of his three early-season triumphs in the 2013-14 campaign.

Walker also won the Frys.com Open and the Sony Open in Hawaii -- a title he successfully defended on January 18.

Dustin Johnson and Jim Renner both surged on the final day but came up short.

Johnson, a two-time winner of this event, will be making his second start since returning from a six-month personal leave.

He missed the cut at last week's Farmers Insurance Open and will be teamed up with his future father-in-law, NHL great Wayne Gretzky.

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