Jason Day and Tiger Woods have formed a close relationship over the years that has included Day going to Tiger for advice as well as both letting their guard down and giving one another a little grief.
While their relationship truly blossomed while Woods was mostly sidelined with nagging back injuries, Woods’ return to competitive golf has seen a few of his old habits return when dealing with competitors. A friendlier and softer Woods has emerged between the ropes, but on the occasions when he has found himself in contention, his old steely stare has returned as well.
Given that blend between old and new Tiger, Day was asked on Tuesday at the U.S. Open about the current state of his relationship with Woods given the 14-time major champion is back playing a full schedule.
“I texted him the other day, I sent him a picture,” Day explained. “It was him at this event in 2004 (at Shinnecock), and he had what looked like MC Hammer pants on. I’m like, ‘Hey, man, look at these pants. They’re terrible.’
“He had pleats on them and everything. It was like the old school stuff. He didn’t text me back.”
Their relationship hasn’t sullied, however. Day said that he and Woods still stay in contact regularly and when they pop up on the same part of the putting green, the jabs flow naturally.
“Most of the time, he texts back,” Day said. “Since he’s come back, you can see his killer instinct is kind of starting to go more towards what it used to be. He’s definitely not as aggressive as he used to be with regards to that.
“When I first came out, it was kind of still in his prime when he was winning a lot of tournaments. He didn’t really talk to many people, kind of went straight through and did his job and went on to the next event and did that.
“I know that he’s still hungry. I think he’s hungry for that next win and I think that’s what he’s looking forward to, but there hasn’t been much change at all (between us).
“He was on the putting green this morning and he was putting around my hole and he was annoying me. He’s great because the banter was going back and forth and we were giving each other a little bit of schtick that I can’t say on TV.”
Day tees off on Thursday alongside Bubba Watson and defending champion Brooks Koepka at 7:40 a.m. off of No. 1. Woods goes at 1:47 p.m. off of No. 1 with Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson.