It's hard to believe that someone who came from so little could be considered an underachiever. But prior to the summer of 2015, that's just what Jason Day was. He showed tremendous promise as both an amateur and a young professional, winning a Web.Com Tour event when he was 19.
Day earned full status on the PGA Tour the following season in 2008. He quickly became a fixture at the top of leaderboards. Nine times in a six-year span, the Australian finished in the top 10 at Major Championships. He was runner-up at The Masters as a 23-year-old in 2011, then took second at the U.S. Open that same season.
And yet, winning eluded him. Day's victory at the 2010 Byron Nelson Classic and a 2014 triumph over Victor Dubuisson in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship represented his only two wins on tour. He was viewed as a player who had all the talent in the world, but one who perhaps lacked the will to succeed under pressure.
A missed putt on 18 that would have sent Day to a playoff at the Open Championship this summer only reinforced that notion.
Of course, everything changed after that. The now 27-year-old shattered the Major Championship scoring record by eviscerating Whistling Straits to the tune of 20-under-par at the PGA Championship. Day was so good down the stretch that even wunderkind Jordan Spieth, who finished three strokes behind him, conceded victory.
At one point on the back nine, Spieth found his drive some 50 yards short of Day's in the fairway. The young Texan turned to his adversary and mouthed, "Wow." Day grinned and flexed his biceps in reply.
He had arrived and then some. The Wanamaker Trophy was followed by wins at The Barclays and the BMW Championship. Day finished a combined 12 strokes ahead of the field in those events and shot 41-under over the two weeks.
He had come a long way from the phenom who couldn't close. He had come a longer way from the young boy who searched the trash dumps near his childhood home.
In this short documentary from RBC, Day shares his story from rural Australia to the World's No. 1 ranked player. Only after watching will you understand how special Day's 2015 season really was.
Philadelphia born. Raised in God's country aka Duluth, Minnesota. Give me a frozen pond and an open pitch and I'll be happy. Follow me on twitter @noclassfriday