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Day keeps a clear head to secure maiden win

By Craig Renshaw,
Jason Day was delighted to get his hands on his first major trophy on the PGA Tour.
Jason Day was delighted to get his hands on his first major trophy on the PGA Tour.
  • Jason Day kept his nerve and a clear head to secure maiden PGA Tour win
  • Young Australian claimed the Byron Nelson Championship despite bogeying the 18th
  • Day kept the ball in play off the tee after a shaky start on the front nine of final day
  • Jason Day
  • Byron Nelson
  • PGA Tour

(CNN) -- As I was watching final day coverage of the Byron Nelson Championship, I noticed a very young leader board that was littered with young guns like Jason Day, Jeff Overton, and Blake Adams all looking for their first taste of victory on the PGA Tour.

I also noticed a real case of nerves for all of the youngsters as they battled each other and themselves for that elusive first win.

And as it turned out, Jason Day would come to show all of us that having a good game plan, while keeping a clear head would be our Lesson Learned for the week.

Playing in the tournament and course for the first time in his career, Jason needed a game plan that would allow him to keep the ball in play and calm his nerves as times got tight later in the round.

After a shaky first nine on Sunday that had him shooting 37 and falling into a three-way tie for the lead, I hope everyone noticed that a young PGA Tour professional started hitting 3 metals and long irons off of the tee in order to keep the ball in play.

More balls in the fairway meant more opportunities to hit greens and make some putts!

This strategy led to a one-shot lead as he headed for the 18th tee.

The 18th hole was a hole he had struggled with all week, hitting into the water on two of the first three rounds.

Obviously, this was weighing on his mind as Day decided to play it safe and hit a long iron off the tee.

While a game plan is great, being able to execute that game plan is another story.

Jason popped up his tee shot and then nervously hit the ball in the water on his second shot.

His closest competitor, Blake Adams, also showing some nerves, hit a wild tee shot and then put his second shot in the water also.

But then in a critical move, Jason made a great decision concerning where to take his drop from the hazard.

As nervous and anxious as he was, he was able to go through his entire thought process and make a clear, smart decision that gave him his best chance to win.

This smart drop allowed him a simple fourth shot and kept alive his dream of his first PGA Tour title. Then, going through his routine, Jason made a great ten-foot putt to secure his first win on the PGA Tour.

Basically, all golfers are going to go through some tough stretches and when you are anxious and nervous, making good decision is even tougher than normal.

All golfers get nervous, especially when there is something big at stake -- even PGA Tour winners like Jason Day.

But as you can see from the events of this past week, being able to keep your head about you, even as your nerves are frayed, can give you your best opportunity to get the best results.

Craig Renshaw is the Director of Instruction for Lake Winnipesaukee Golf Club in New Durham, USA.