Jason Day's path to world No. 1 supremacy all started at last year's RBC Canadian Open.
Before the Canadian Open, Day was a notable name, but had yet to have a "moment" similar to Jordan Spieth's back-to-back Masters and U.S. Open titles or Rory McIlroy's triumph at the 2014 Open Championship.
Winning the 2015 Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont., the fourth victory of his career, probably wasn't his defining "moment" either, but it was definitely the start of something special.
Let's take a look at the past year for the 28-year-old Aussie as he makes his return to the place where it all began.
Solid Performances at U.S. Open, British Open – June 18 to July 20, 2015
Day wasn't playing his best golf as he entered last year's U.S. Open at the Chambers Bay. Despite winning a tournament earlier in the season, Day had missed consecutive cuts at THE PLAYERS Championship and the Memorial Tournament heading into the second major of the year. To make matters worse, Day collapsed during the last hole of his second round due to vertigo and his ability to play the weekend was in question. Day made a quick recovery though and was able to finish in the top-10, shooting even par for the tournament.
He was in contention again at St. Andrews a few weeks later, this time at the Open Championship. Day played well all week and finished tied for fourth (-14), just one stroke away from a playoff with three other golfers.
Day broke some Canadian hearts the week after the British Open. David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., was on the path to become the first Canuck to win the Canadian Open since Pat Fletcher did it in 1954.
That was until Day had something to say. The Aussie shot a 4-under 68 on championship Sunday, including birdies on the last three holes. His 21-foot putt on the 18th sealed the deal for Day and his fourth career victory, leaving Bubba Watson and Hearn in his rear-view mirror. With the win, Day jumped to fourth on the world golf rankings and kicked off a truly remarkable run to finish off the 2015 season.
After finishing tied for 12th at the Bridgestone Invitational, Day entered the final major of the year – the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin – feeling pretty good about himself. Day finished the tournament at an incredible 20-under, three strokes better than Spieth. Day made an impressive $1.8 million with the win, but will remember it as his first major victory of his career.
"I didn't expect I was going to cry," an emotional Day said after his round. "A lot of emotion has come out because I've been so close so many times and fallen short. To be able to play the way I did today, especially with Jordan in my group, I could tell that he was the favorite. Just to be able to finish the way I did was amazing."
His 20-under performance broke the major record for most strokes under par, previously set by Tiger Woods (19-under) at the 2000 British Open. Day bumped up to No. 3 in the world while Spieth became the new No. 1 after passing McIlroy.
After taking the title at Whistling Straits, Day picked up another two victories – The Barclays and BMW Championship – over the next three weeks on the FedEx Playoffs. After winning the BMW Championship with an impressive 22-under, Day surpassed Spieth for No. 1 on the world rankings. Unfortunately for Day, Spieth captured the season-ending Tour Championship to win the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus. He also secured the No. 1 rank once again. Still, Day finished the 2015 season with five victories under his belt and $9.4 million in winnings in his wallet. Maybe most importantly, Day's play proved he belongs in the elite class of golfers on the PGA Tour.
Day hasn't had any setbacks in 2016. Day won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and then won the Dell Match Play a week later with a bad back to take the world No. 1 ranking.
The victory gave him six championships in 13 played dating back to the 2015 RBC Canadian Open. Since his match play triumph, Day has finished in the top-10 at The Masters, Zurich Classic of New Orleans, U.S. Open and the Bridgestone Invitational. He also captured the prestigious PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
Day still holds the No. 1 ranking ahead of American Dustin Johnson. Both will bring their talents to Oakville this week for the RBC Canadian Open.