Jason Day chooses Hero World Challenge instead of Australian Open

Jason Day has chosen a trip to the Bahamas to play in Tiger Woods’ Hero World Challenge instead of coming home for an Australian Open that will be jam-packed with the best local talent.

Australian golf officials had spoken to the resurgent Day, who climbed from as deep as 150 on the rankings to back inside the top 25 this year on the back of his first win since 2018, and had been hopeful of him playing for the first time since 2017.

But Day cited the birth of his fifth child in September as a reason for knocking back a trip to Australia for the mixed-gender Open, which will be played at The Australian and The Lakes Golf Clubs in Sydney from November 30 to December 3.

It hasn’t, however, prohibited Day from joining the elite 19-man field for Woods’ annual event in the Caribbean that will include seven of the world’s top 10 players. Only Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are skipping it, with a spot open for Woods to potentially play.

It’s understood Day has indicated he could return to Australia in 2024.

“Going through his manager, the timing is not going to be right so soon after little baby Winnie was born,” PGA of Australia boss Gavin Kirkman said when he confirmed Day wouldn’t be playing in the Australian Open or PGA.

“I think we’ll see Jason playing in Australia from 2024 and beyond. He’s very keen to return and the discussions we had this year were more promising than any other year.”

Day is the only one of 10 Australians ranked in the world’s top 100 across both the men’s and women’s fields who won’t be playing after major champions Minjee Lee (7) and Hannah Green (23) both committed on the weekend to taking part.

LIV star Cameron Smith, who has dropped to world No.18 after the Saudi-backed tour had its plea for rankings points knocked back, will join Cam Davis (42), Adam Scott (44), Macau Open winner Min Woo Lee (45) and Lucas Herbert (60) in playing.

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