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Jason Day commits to playing at the Paris Olympics

3 minute read

Golf star Jason Day has committed to the Paris Olympics, saying he regretted not representing Australia at the 2016 Rio Games when he was world No.1.

JASON DAY of Australia poses with the trophy of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines South in San Diego, California.
JASON DAY of Australia poses with the trophy of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines South in San Diego, California. Picture: Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Australian golf star Jason Day has committed to the Olympics for the first time, revealing a sense of regret at skipping the Rio Games eight years ago.

An upbeat Day told AAP he was excited to have the chance to represent Australia again after finishing the Masters with a flurry at Augusta National.

Day closed with a three-under-par 69 on Sunday to climb into the top-30 at the first major championship of the year.

"Today was a good positive step in the right direction," he said after conceding it may have been a bad idea to tinker with his swing while playing the first two rounds at Augusta with five-time champion Tiger Woods, the Pied Piper of the fairways.

"It felt a little bit different today. I was just saying that I was making some continuation of swing changes on top of playing in a major championship with Tiger Woods and in 40-mile-an-hour breeze at the start of the week.

"It can be very difficult to try and make those changes."

Day was world No.1 when he opted out of the Rio Olympics, saying he was uneasy about going to Brazil with the Zika virus spreading while his wife was pregnant.

But as the country's No.1 player, the 21st-ranked Day is in pole position to claim one of Australia's two spots for this year's Paris Games.

"I'll play. If I'm in, I'll play for sure, yeah. I'm looking forward to it," the one-time major champion said.

"I think I made a bit of a mistake not going down to Rio, even though part of it was family-related. I kind of missed out on that, and I probably should have gone.

"But if I get the opportunity, I'm looking forward to going."

Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman represented Australia at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

But with Smith slipping to world No.52 and not earning rankings points playing LIV Golf events, the 2022 British Open champion is in a desperate race to rise above Min Woo Lee (32) before the entry cut-off on June 17.

Adam Scott (51) has ruled himself out, but Lee is desperate to earn a spot and join his dual major-winning sister Minjee in Paris.

"It's unbelievable to represent Australia," he told AAP after also posting a final-round 69 at the Masters to finish at four over and also in the top 30.

"When you're a professional, you don't really get to represent the Australian side.

"Obviously, week in and week out you represent Australia (on the PGA Tour), but when you're an amateur, I got to play for Australia a lot of times.

"So I do miss putting on the green and gold and hopefully Jason is a playing partner and a teammate. That will be really special.

"My sister is going to be in there, too, so it will be an unbelievable experience. Hopefully it can stay this way and I can play."

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