Jun 30, 2016

    Day to home in on Australian Open


    WORLD No. 1 Jason Day yesterday said he will head home to play at the Australian Open this year, a day after becoming the latest golfer to withdraw from the Olympics.

    The Australian has not teed off at his national Open since 2013 due to injuries and family issues and will line up alongside world No. 2 Jordan Spieth.

    When Day last played the tournament in Sydney, he finished tied sixth behind winner Rory McIlroy. Spieth won it the following year with Australian Matt Jones, the 2015 champion.

    The commitment to his home Open followed his decision on Tuesday to skip the Rio Olympics due to fears over the Zika virus.

    The threat of the mosquito-borne virus, which can lead to birth defects, has been cited as the reason for withdrawal by a number of golfers, including major winners McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell and Charl Schwartzel. The sport returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.

    The Australian Open gets under way at Royal Sydney Golf Club from Nov 17.