Jason Day has declared himself ready to go for the Masters, claiming his thumb injury is almost healed and a recent back strain is a non-issue.
The world No.4 hasn’t played a tournament since winning the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship in February after injuring his left thumb but he insists he’ll be ready to contend at Augusta National next week.
Day, the third favourite in the bookies’ eyes after finishing tied second in 2011 and third last year, withdrew from the recent WGC Cadillac Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational and will go into the Masters on Thursday without playing a stroke-play event in two months.
The 26-year-old also compounded his problems by straining his back playing with his 20-month-old son during his layoff.
“My back feels 100 per cent so that’s totally fine and I’m probably about 85-90 per cent with the thumb,” Day told AAP after arriving in Augusta to begin his preparation.
“I hit about 40 balls and the hand feels good. The back feels good. I just have a cold so I am a little under the weather but everything else is good to go.
“I will be taping my hand for the next few tournaments but I’m physically and mentally ready.”
After initially resting the thumb injury, Day received a cortisone injection last week to reduce inflammation and ensure he’d be able to front up at the year’s first major.
The Queenslander admitted he’d have liked to have more recent golf under his belt but was still confident.
“The biggest thing for me was to get in early, which I have done, and I have the rest of this week to really get my preparation going,” Day said.
“I just have to go in there the next few days and do the work I need to do to feel like I am ready to go.”
After standing on the 16th tee on Sunday last year with a two-shot lead only to bogey the next two holes Day is desperate to atone.
But he’s trying to keep a lid on the pressure at the same time.
“I know the media and plenty of people are listing me as one of the favourites but I just have to stay in the present and just go with it and have fun,” Day said.
“I think the best thing that I have employed here (in the past) is to not overburden myself with expectation and ruin the experience of being able to play a place like this.
“In saying that, I want to win and I am ecstatic right now.
“I got the nervous butterflies in the stomach driving past Magnolia Lane.
“It brings back great memories and I can’t wait to get started.”