2013 AT&T National Preview: Jason Day Will Step Up At Congressional Country Club

By Brandon Raper
Jason Day
Matthew O’Haren – USA TODAY Sports

For Jason Day, it’s been a season — and really, a career — marked by close calls. This week, it’s time for Day to step up and earn his second career PGA Tour victory at the 2013 AT&T National.

Day is coming off of one of the best weeks of his career, having earned a tie for second place at the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club. Day actually was tied for the lead late on Sunday at Merion, but closed out his round with three bogeys to finish two shots behind eventual winner Justin Rose. It was Day’s fifth top-10 finish at a major championship and also his fifth top-10 in the 2013 season, which ranks him sixth on the Tour.

So with all the close calls, what makes Day the favorite at Congressional Country Club this week? The field is going to be a strong one, even as notables like Tiger Woods and Rose take time off. Day, though, has fit his game for Congressional’s new, tougher setup, and that should translate to continued success.

Before Congressional’s update for the 2011 U.S. Open, Day missed the cut at the AT&T National in his first two seasons on Tour, in 2008 and 2009. Since then, however, his results at the course have been spectacular, with a solo second behind Rory McIlroy at the U.S. Open and a tie for eighth here last season.

After the remodel, Congressional is now the second-longest course on the Tour schedule, its 7,569 yards trailing only the Torrey Pines South course. Day is a bomber to be sure, but more importantly, he’s been able to pair that distance with excellent accuracy into the greens in his successful runs at Congressional — he was second in GIR for last year’s event. While that isn’t his strong point week in and week out, he’ll have the comfort factor on his side this week just outside the nation’s capitol.

Day has got to be hungry for another taste of victory after so many close calls, and this week is going to be a phenomenal opportunity for him to do just that.

Brandon Raper is a golf writer for RantSports.com. “Like” him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @Brandon__Raper, or add him to your Google+ network.

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