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Trump delays Jason Day’s arrival for Open at Birkdale

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Australia’s Jason Day ended 2016 as the world’s top ranked golfer © AFP / Jim Watson

SOUTHPORT, United Kingdom, Jul 19 – Jason Day is hopeful he can figure prominently at this week’s British Open despite arriving at Royal Birkdale later than planned — thanks to Donald Trump.

The Australian was due to be in England on Sunday but ended up putting back his departure by 24 hours because of flight delays in New York which he put down to the US President.

“I had three weeks off before this, so I could have got in early,” Day said at Birkdale on the eve of Thursday’s Open first round.

“I was actually supposed to get here Sunday. And I was flying through JFK and President Trump was there and there was a bunch of delays. So I just decided to move my flight back a little bit later.”

Trump attended the US Women’s Open in New Jersey last weekend, and the delays allowed Day to spend an extra day at home with his young children, and be there for his son’s birthday.

The 29-year-old world number six’s change of plans meant he did not practice on the Southport links on Monday, but he believes a lack of golf going into the championship could benefit him.

“Usually I get in here to places like this early. I usually get in Thursday or Friday and play a couple of practice rounds. I did it this year at Augusta and I was just truly knackered by the time I started Thursday,” he said.

“This week has felt a lot quicker to me. And I got some work in before I came in here. I think all in all I feel pretty ready and fresh going into tomorrow’s round.”

Day was presented with an award on Wednesday for ending 2016 as world number one. Since then he has dropped back due to poorer form, including a missed cut at last month’s US Open.

PGA champion in 2015, when he also came fourth in the Open at St Andrews, Day admits to having had his mind elsewhere at the start of this year due to a cancer scare involving his mother.

“When you feel like you’re going to lose someone that is very close to you, there’s nothing you want to do more than just be with them and you don’t even want to think about playing golf or even think about working,” said Day.

He plays with 2015 Open champion Zach Johnson and reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia in the first two rounds as he chases a first win since the Players Championship over a year ago.

“I’m looking forward to trying to get back into the winner’s circle this year, and hopefully I can do that this week,” he said.

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