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President Trump has boosted my hopes of Open Championship victory, says Jason Day

By Andy Hampson

Former World No.1 Jason Day is feeling refreshed ahead of The Open - because President Trump delayed his travel plans. The Australian did not arrive at Royal Birkdale until Monday and did not play the course until Tuesday after arriving later than planned from the United States.

Day originally intended to arrive on Sunday but, after learning a connection in New York would be delayed because of President Trump's movements, he decided to book a later flight.

And he believes that could work to his advantage as his arrival at Augusta over a week before this year's Masters proved counter-productive.

The 29-year-old said: "I had three weeks off before this so I could have got in early. I was supposed to come in on Sunday but I was flying through JFK and President Trump was there and there was a bunch of delays.

"So I decided to move my flight back a little bit. President Obama held me up one time flying out of Palm Springs, so I just didn't bother with it. It was quite nice, I got to spend more time with the kids at home.

"I usually get in Thursday or Friday and play a couple of practice rounds, but I did it this year at Augusta and I was just truly knackered by the time I started.

"This week has felt a lot quicker to me. I think all in all I feel pretty ready and fresh going into (today's) round."

Day may have had limited time to prepare at Birkdale, but his preparations have already prompted the introduction of a new local rule.

Because of winds, Day considered playing the ninth hole via the 10th fairway, but, because that would require hitting over a grandstand, organisers made that option out of bounds.

"We just asked, but I understand the safety issue," Day said.

"(Now) if you lose one on the wind or it bounces awkwardly and you're a foot on the (10th) fairway you're out of bounds. It's a little unfair but R&A have obviously made that rule for a purpose.

"I guess I'll be hitting iron shots down there now, not taking the 10 line."

Day was speaking at a press conference at Birkdale which concluded with a presentation in recognition of the 41 weeks he spent at World No.1 in 2016.

He has since slipped to No.6 and his recent form has been inconsistent. He finished second at the AT&T Byron Nelson tournament in May but has missed cuts on his last two starts, including the US Open.

It has been a difficult period for him on a personal level, however, with his mother receiving treatment for lung cancer earlier in the year.

An emotional Day said: "I feel like I got a little bit burned out the end of 2016, and take in a couple of injuries in that as well. The pressure of being World No.1 was difficult as well. It got to me a little bit.

"I had the scare with my mum at the start of the year. 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.

"Saying that, everything seems like it's kind of coming back into balance for me. I'm now able to focus on just really getting after it and working hard."

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